Iraqi Oil Exports Fall in March


". . .it appears that the growth in domestic demand is working to the detriment of output."

Oil exports from Iraq fell to 1.79 million barrels per day (bpd) during the March, down from 2.08 million bpd in exports during February from the Middle Eastern nation, according to Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO). The news comes as a serious blow to Iraq's oil industry, which has been trending upwards in oil exports of late. As a result the nation's optimistic forecasts have come under intense scrutiny from industry experts. Along with a host of other factors, it appears that the growth in domestic demand is working to the detriment of output.

However, although the climate may be changing at present, in the long-term the prospect for Iraq's main industry still look strong.

Indeed, following two recent licensing rounds, Iraq has signed as many as ten new agreements for exploration with overseas oil firms to further develop the nation's vast oil and gas supplies.

Upon completion of the newly inked licenses, Iraq will no doubt be a much stronger position in terms of production. Figures as high as 12 million bpd by the year 2020 have been thrown around, should exploration and production go to plan.

Furthermore, relative low recovery costs and wider under-exploration of the country's vast mineral riches all support the long-term outlook for Iraq's oil industry.

It is wise to focus on the long-term play, but in the closer future a host of problems still confront bullish production targets.

One major stopping point is the lack of a proven legal framework to protect the operations of overseas players in the nation.

Unsurprisingly, this has severely deterred investment.

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