Iraq says oil revenues rise despite low global prices

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's monthly oil revenue has risen by more than 30 percent to $2.9 billion despite low global prices that have placed a major strain on the country's economy.

Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said in a statement Friday that exports inched up to 3.286 million barrels per day in March from 3.225 million the previous month. Last month's total revenue was just $2.2 billion.

The plunge in oil prices has battered Iraq's economy at a time when Baghdad is struggling to combat the Islamic State group. Iraq holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves, and oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of its budget.

Jihad says last month's average price was $28 per barrel. Iraq's 2016 budget is based on an expected price of $45 per barrel.