Iraqi Oil Sector Loses Its Appeal As Debts Mount

Iraq is mulling revisions to contracts with IOCs, raising its stake back to 20-25% not long after lowering it to 5%. But, amid a halving of oil export revenue, Baghdad would struggle to raise the cash for an increased share of development costs. It owes IOCs $9bn for 2014 and will need to find $18bn more for 2015.

Iraq’s official crude exports rose to 2.60mn b/d in February, the second highest figure in two years after December’s post-1979 record of 2.94mn b/d.

The rise came despite a more than 100,000 b/d decline in shipments from southern ports due to bad weather and loading delays. A rise in northern exports through the Kurdistan region to Turkey’s Ceyhan helped to lift overall exports. But while export revenues edged up from January’s six-year-low to $3.45bn in February, at an average export price of $47.43/B, both figures are the second lowest since early 2009 and 50% down on mid-2014. (CONTINUED - 3358 WORDS)