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Iraq managed to export yet another record volume of crude in April, largely due to higher shipments through the northern pipeline to Ceyhan via the Kurdistan Region. With exports topping 3mn b/d, the December oil export agreement between Erbil and Baghdad has held up despite slight discrepancies in the volumes reported by each side.
Iraq’s Oil Ministry said on 1 May that provisional data pointed to exports of 3.077mn b/d in April, the first time since 1979 that exports have topped 3mn b/d and up 80,000 b/d on the previous post-1979 record set a month earlier.
The April increase was due mainly to sharply higher exports from northern fields, both federal and Kurdish operated. The official Iraqi figure put northern exports at 450,000 b/d, the highest since October 2012 and up from 268,000 b/d in March. Exports through the southern ports averaged 2.627mn b/d in April, down from 2.712mn b/d the previous month, and 130,000 b/d below the all-time record of 2.76mn b/d set in December last year. However, the April decline coincided with higher oil prices, earning Iraq $4.8bn in revenues versus $4.477bn in March.
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