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Iraq's oil exports register 6 percent increase in January from December

Iraq's oil exports register 6 percent increase in January from December

Iraq's crude oil exports in January inched up to 59.6 million barrels, a 6 percent increase from the previous month, the Oil Ministry said Tuesday.
Iraq's average production was 2.4 million barrels per day in January while exports stood at an average of 1.92 million barrels per day, the ministry's figures showed.
December's exports averaged 1.81 million barrels per day.
But there was still an enormous difference in output between the southern port of Basra, which exported an average of 1.54 million barrels daily, and the northern city of Kirkuk, which exported nearly 380,000 barrels per day.
The exports sold at an average price of US$80 a barrel in January and grossed a total of US$4.813 billion in January _ a 2.6 percent increase from December's revenues which stood at US$4.689 billion.
Iraq's oil exports rose 9.2 percent last year, largely because improved security allowed oil shipments through a key northern pipeline from the Kirkuk oil fields to Turkey's Ceyhan terminal on the Mediterranean Sea.
The pipeline, which was often halted in past years due to sabotage, is now pumping more than 300,000 barrels per day.
Total oil exports in 2007 reached nearly 600 million barrels, an average of 1.6 million per day. More the vast majority of the oil was exported from Basra, while nearly 40 million barrels were exported from the north.
In dire need of expertise from international oil companies to achieve Oil Ministry's target of 3 million barrels per day by the end of 2008, Iraq decided to rely on a Saddam Hussein-era law until Parliament approves a new oil law to regulate the international oil companies' work and share Iraq's oil resources among the country's Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.
More than 70 international firms met the ministry's deadline of Feb. 18 and registered to compete for tenders to help develop Iraq's oil reserves, seen as vital to providing the funds to rebuild the shattered country.
Iraq has not said what fields it will tender, or on what terms, but the service and extraction contracts on offer are seen as a stopgap until the oil law is passed, and will not provide the long-term involvement big oil companies want.