By John Lee.
Platts reports that Iraqi oil production rose slightly in February to 2.963 million barrels per day (bpd), up by 43,000 bpd over January.
Figures from the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) show that Iraq exported 2.536 million bpd last month, 177,000 bpd above January's tally of 2.359 million bpd, and only 78,000 bpd below the September-November average of 2.614 million bpd, when it registered the highest export rates since 1990.
But oil production increases have lost momentum in recent months, partly due to infrastructure constraints in the south. Total oil production in February is still 272,000 bpd lower than the post-1990 record of 3.235 million bpd achieved only five months ago.
Production in the South rose by 45,000 bpd in February (month-on-month) to 2.281 million bpd, while production from the northern fields fell by 2,000 bpd in February to 682,000 bpd.
There was no contribution from the Kurdistan Regional Government, which suspended oil exports in mid-December as a result of the continuing row with Baghdad over oil payments. The Kurdish province had supplied 152,000 bpd in November, the highest volumes exported from the province through the federal pipeline to date.
Internal supply rates to local refineries and power stations in February totaled 598,000 bpd, compared with 675,000 bpd in January with the 77,000 bpd decline in domestic supply helping to boost export rates.