Iraq’s oil exports have averaged 2.582 million barrels a day for the month of May, thus recording an increase from April’s 2.510 million barrels a day. Oil sales revenues have grossed $8.068 billion given an average barrel price of $100.08, while April’s revenues recorded $7.582 billion.
In fact, the pipeline that transports oil on the country’s Persian Gulf to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan has been inoperable since March due to terrorist attacks. The pipeline has been a preferred target to insurgents; it pumps 300,000 to 400,000 barrels a day and crosses restive Sunni-dominated regions of north of Iraq. Even though Iraq has the fourth largest oil reserves in the world, with about 140 billion barrels, increasing oil production has been very difficult mainly due to terrorist attacks, infrastructure bottlenecks and oil dispute in the Kurdistan region.
Since the 2003 U.S-led invasion, Iraq has been struggling to improve the oil and gas sectors given the bad security situation has been putting off many investors. Oil revenues account for approximately 95% of Iraq’s budget.