Commodity Online

BAGHDAD: Oil exports from Iraq last February has shown a decrease of 3.5 million tones from January, country s Oil Ministry said.

However, revenues increased due to the rise in world oil prices. Iraq s average production for February was 2.4 million barrels per day, with exports averaging 1.93 million barrels per day, the ministry said in a statement issued here on Monday.

Furthermore, the figures showed an enormous difference in exports between the southern port of Basra, which sent an average of 1.54 million barrels abroad each day, and the northern city of Kirkuk, which exported nearly 390,000 barrels per day.

Iraq s oil exports rose 9.2 per cent 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.

Shipments on the northern pipeline were often halted in past years due to sabotage. Total oil exports in 2007 reached nearly 600 million barrels, an average of 1.6 million per day. The majority of the oil was exported from Basra, while nearly 40 million barrels were exported from the north.

Iraq sits on the world s third largest oil reserves, totaling more than 115 billion barrels. The war torn country is planning to increase its oil output to 3 million barrels a day by the end of 2008 by employing foreign companies expertise and is targeting production of 4.5 million barrels a day by end of 2013.