Musings on Iraq reports that for the last four months, Iraq has seen a steady decline in its oil exports even though production has gone up.
The major reason is that the country’s oil industry is at capacity. Monthly fluctuations have been the result of attacks, equipment problems, and recently, bad weather. That’s reflected in October 2011’s numbers.
2011 has witnessed new highs in oil production and exports for Iraq. In 2009, it auctioned off a number of petroleum fields to foreign energy companies, and they have been hard at work since then to boost the country’s output. That has led to over 2 million barrels of day in exports each month, and just under 3 million barrels a day in total production, something that had not been achieved consistently since the 2003 invasion.
At the same time, Iraq has not been able to significantly go past that mark because its export facilities are at capacity. To add to that, the oil industry faces constant problems like old equipment to terrorist bombings. That has driven down exports for the last few months. Until the whole industry is thoroughly renovated, something that the government plans to do, these trends will continue.
For those keeping score at home, yes the Neocon script for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was clear that the flood of crude oil out of a free Iraq would pay for the war, both in actual costs and as a reward for having the courage to invade. Yeah, I know, they lied about that too, just like the WMDs. And yes, there is a pattern.
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