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Iraq, OPEC's Fastest Growing in 2015, Holds Back in 2016

Iraq oil exports, OPEC's fastest growing in 2015, hold steady in March

OPEC's producers have decided to meet on April 17th to discuss the freeze output in their effort to boost global oil prices. Yet, Iraq's oil exports for the month of March have been steady, temporarily pausing the excess supply of oil that has lowered global oil prices.

Yet, various factors have offset the near-record export numbers such as pipeline disruptions. An average lf 3.35 million barrels per day (bpd) were exported by Iraq's southern region for the first 23 days in March, close to the 3.37 million barrels per day that were exported in November. "The recent disruption in Iraq and Nigeria, alongside greater risk appetite in financial markets, has helped to lift the price," said Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity strategy at BNP Paribas. But that momentum is running out of steam. The global supply and demand imbalance is still large in the first half of 2016."

Southern Iraq pumps most of the Iraqi oil, the northern pipeline to Turkey has less oil exports due to the conflict in surrounding territories. Export levels fell 217,000 fbpd in March, which is less so than the 350,000 bpd drop in February, also caused by government restrictions due to oil payment disagreements between Baghdad and the Erbil. 

Iraq provided OPEC with the fastest growth in 2015 and boosted production by more than 500,000 bpd even though political conflict disrupted services. 

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