Iraq’s oil sector rounded off months of record form in December, with wellhead production at an all-time high of 4.70mn b/d (MEES, 11 January). For 2018 as a whole, output averaged 4.53mn b/d, up 100,000 b/d year-on-year from 2017, which itself was a record year. That Baghdad has managed to grow output every year since 2005 despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles is an overlooked success story. Export revenues were similarly up 41% year-on-year (MEES, 4 January).

2019 could be the first year output falls in over a decade, but not due to production issues: Iraq is “fully committed” to December’s Opec+ agreement to cut production by 1.2mn b/d (MEES, 7 December 2018. The oil ministry has signed up to a 140,000 b/d production cut for 1H 2019, which, if adhered to, would see output drop by 3% from its baseline 4.65mn b/d October figure to 4.51mn b/d for the first half of the year. (CONTINUED - 1568 WORDS)