Iraqi oil minister Thamer Al-Ghadban (2nd-R) gives a press conference as he visits the Basrah Gas Company, next to Frits Klap, the company's managing director (1st-L), in Basra on February 11, 2019. Photo: AFP / Hussein Faleh
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraq's oil exports are promising so far in February and Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban predicts that the Kurdistan Region will adhere to its delivery agreement.
Iraq has averaged oil exports of 3.63 million bpd so far in February, Reuters reported on Monday. Baghdad reported 3.65 million bpd in January, according to the ministry's figures.
Reuters cited better production in Kirkuk. Baghdad and Erbil reached an agreement in November to export oil through Kurdistan's pipeline that terminates at the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
"I am very optimistic that the Region will adhere to delivering 250,000 barrels per day in accordance with the 2019 state budget," Ghadhban told Reuters.
The Iraqi oil ministry reported Kirkuk averaged about 100,000 bpd in January. It is capable of upwards of 300,000 bpd with current infrastructure.
He described a recent meeting with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani as positive.
The Kurdistan Region produces 420,000 bpd, according to Reuters. The oil and gas sectors are privatized in Kurdistan, but state-owned elsewhere in Iraq.
Ghadhban expects the Kurdistan Region to output 550,000 bpd by the end of the year. The semi-autonomous region is recovering from several economic crises and is heavily dependent on its energy sector for revenue.
Analysts at the recent World Economic Forum said they expect oil prices to more than likely be closer to the $80-$100 bpd range, rather than $40-$60.
When prices fell globally in 2014, it negatively impacted the Kurdistan Region in particular as it exports oil independent of Baghdad and is not beholden to OPEC.
The General Manager of Basra Oil Company Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told Reuters he expects the monthly average to be 3.55 million bpd.