Iraq’s oil exports jumped in January, while the country requested urgent assistance from the IMF. This prompted the Iraqi street to wonder, where do those revenues go?
Oil exports increased to 2.868 million barrels per day in January, from 2.846 million barrels per day in the previous month.
The Iraqi Oil Ministry said on Monday that exports from Basra terminals in the south of the country amounted to 2.77 million barrels per day in January, up from 2.75 million barrels per day a month ago.
The rise in oil prices boosted Iraq’s oil revenues for January to about $ 4.74 billion, with an average price per barrel of $ 53.294. And oil revenues are the main source of income for Iraq.
Iraq sold crude at an average price of $ 47.765 a barrel in December.
A few days ago, the Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) announced that the country’s oil exports during the past year amounted to more than one billion barrels, indicating that China and India were the most buyers of Iraqi oil.
The company said, in official statistics, that “the total oil exports for the year 2020 amounted to one billion 96 million and 345 thousand barrels, at a monthly export rate of 91 million and 362 thousand barrels, and a daily average of 2 million and 362 thousand barrels.”
She added that “Chinese and Indian oil companies were the most buyers of Iraqi oil, followed by American companies,” noting that “the revenues generated from crude oil sales amounted to 41 billion and 755 million dollars, at a rate of 3 billion and 479 million dollars per month.”
And she continued, the total exports from the oil fields in Basra and central Iraq exported through the ports of Basra amounted to one billion and 60 million and 454 thousand barrels, with revenues of 40 billion and 488 million dollars.
Despite these revenues, Iraq, the big oil country, suffers from a suffocating crisis in the provision of petrol to meet the daily needs of citizens, which reach 24 million liters per day.
The Ministry of Oil is considering importing 10 million liters of gasoline per day to meet domestic consumption requirements.
The International Monetary Fund revealed that Iraq had requested emergency assistance from the Fund, and that talks were ongoing between the two parties.
Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi told “Bloomberg News” that his country is in talks with the IMF to obtain a package of loans worth 6 billion dollars.
A representative of the International Monetary Fund said in a statement that “the Iraqi authorities have requested emergency assistance from the International Monetary Fund under the Rapid Financing Tool,” and indicated their intention to request a long-term arrangement with the Fund to support the planned economic reforms.