Iraq Says OPEC ‘Price War’ Partly To Blame For Revenue Fall, $84Bn Deficit

Iraq’s Oil Minister, ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mahdi, this week gave a candid and somewhat pessimistic assessment of the country’s finances, admitting that Iraq will miss its export target for the year unless Kirkuk oil and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) exports are included.

Iraq, he says, is already in deficit to the tune of $84bn and risks bankruptcy unless it cuts its near total dependence on crude oil sales as the only source of foreign revenues.

The federal government has dipped in to the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), which is held in New York and contains receipts from oil exports, in order to finance what he says is runaway spending that is not matched by revenues. Speaking to a special session of the cabinet on 3 November to discuss the 2014 budget, which has yet to be submitted to parliament for approval, Mr ‘Abd al-Mahdi said it was an unfortunate fact that Iraq was an oil economy with exports accounting for 95% of total revenues. (CONTINUED - 1825 WORDS)