BAGHDAD: Iraqi crude shipments rose 3 percent in the first half of February even after OPEC’s second-biggest producer agreed to participate in global output cuts to mop up a glut that has put pressure on oil prices.
Reportedly, exports increased to 3.93 million barrels a day in the first 15 days of the month, 122,000 barrels a day more than the average for all of January, according to port-agent reports and ship-tracking data. Shipments from the southern Iraqi port of Basra grew by 10 percent, while sales by the Kurdish Regional Government in the north of the country were up 13 percent, the data show.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is limiting output in the first half of this year to cut global crude stockpiles that are weighing on prices.
The group agreed on Nov. 30 to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels a day, with 11 countries outside of OPEC pledging to reduce by about 600,000. Benchmark Brent crude has gained more than 10 percent since OPEC announced the cuts and was 5 cents higher on Thursday at $55.84 a barrel at 11:11 a.m. in London.
Iraq pledged to decrease production by 210,000 barrels a day from the 3.91 million it pumped in October, the month that OPEC set as a baseline for its agreement.