Iraq: Record December Exports Fail To Mask Bleak 2019 Revenue Outlook

Iraq’s December exports of 3.73mn b/d smashed the previous high. Key expansions mean Baghdad will break this mark in 2019 despite Opec output commitments.

Iraqi oil export revenues came in at $83.7bn for 2018, up a massive 41% versus 2017’s $59.5bn. This four-year high was achieved thanks to the combination of record high export volumes and substantial oil price gains. Unfortunately for Baghdad, a repeat looks unlikely for 2019 with oil prices entering the year more than $10/B lower than in January 2018.

Federal export volumes averaged 3.50mn b/d during 2018, smashing the previous record of 3.31mn b/d set in 2017 (see chart 1). Volumes trended upwards throughout the year with the exception of October and November when stormy weather hampered loadings.

This culminated in December’s record 3.73mn b/d, besting August’s previous record of 3.58mn b/d. Nevertheless, this wasn’t enough to completely offset the lower numbers in October and November, and the Q4 average was slightly down on Q3’s record 3.56mn b/d (see chart 2). (CONTINUED - 888 WORDS)


chart 1: Iraqi Crude Export Revenues Soared Above $80bn In 2018 Amid Record Volumes (Mn B/D)...
chart 2: ...But Revenues ($Bn) Tumbled In 4Q 2018 Amid Falling Oil Prices