Ministry: Iraq oil exports rebound in August

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Iraq’s oil exports rebounded in August from a 16-month low, as increased sales and rising prices lifted revenues to their highest level this year, a spokesman said on Sunday.

Daily exports averaged 2.579 million barrels per day (bpd) and brought in revenues of $8.3 billion (6.3bn euros), Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said in a text message, representing the highest level of income from oil exports since October 2012.

In particular, Iraq was buoyed by rising oil prices, which at one point touched their highest level in 18 months on fears of an imminent U.S.-led military strike on Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.

Prices have since fallen as those fears have eased, but oil is still trading at one of the highest levels in months.

Sales of crude, which account for the vast majority of Iraq’s government income, had fallen to a 16-month low in July, averaging 2.322m bpd, as exports along a northern pipeline stalled.

Iraq is heavily dependent on oil exports, and the government is seeking to dramatically ramp up its sales in the coming years to fund the reconstruction of its battered infrastructure.

Officials are aiming to increase production capacity to nine million bpd by 2017, a target that the International Monetary Fund and International Energy Agency have warned is optimistic.

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