Iraqi crude production fell to 4.30mn b/d in February from 4.50mn b/d in January, according to MEES estimates. But though the January figure is an all-time high, it is well below the totally implausible 4.79mn b/d figure claimed by the Iraqi oil ministry (MEES, 26 February).

Baghdad has, not unreasonably, sought to include the whole of Iraq’s territory, including areas controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in its output figures. The problem comes from the fact that it appears to have taken its figure for all areas outside of Iraq’s four official Kurdish provinces and then added the KRG’s own maximalist production claims. This effectively means that around 300,000 b/d of output from disputed fields in Kirkuk province is being double counted. (CONTINUED - 564 WORDS)