By John Lee.
Iraq and Russia are leading the global surge in oil exports despite a highly competitive market. This has maintained low prices not seen since 2009, with a February settlement for Brent Crude at $56.42 a barrel.
Bloomberg reported record export data of 10.6 million barrels a day from Russia and 2.9 million bpd from Iraq, a rate not seen since 1980, the height of the post nationalisation oil industry under Saddam Hussein.
Slowing Chinese economic growth and a slowdown in European manufacturing, as well as Saudi geopolitical motivations have created an unprecedented oil market.
A strong dollar has also contributed to what analyst Walt Zimmerman described as a “double whammy” for prices.
This has forced oil dependent nations such as Iraq to urgently review their budgets for 2015.