Iraq's crude oil exports and revenue rose in March to their highest levels in the nine years since the US-led invasion that toppled former President Saddam Hussain, the head of the State Oil Marketing Organisation said.
Exports of crude averaged 2.32 million barrels a day, generating monthly sales of $8.4 billion (Dh30.8 billion), Falah Al Ameri said yesterday in a telephone interview in Baghdad.
"We expect export levels to increase further this month," he said.
Iraq holds the world's fifth-largest oil reserves, according to data from BP that include Canadian oil sands. It depends on crude exports for money to rebuild the economy after decades of war and sanctions. Iraq has awarded 15 licences for oil and gas-drilling rights to foreign companies in the post-Saddam era, and it plans a new licensing auction in May.
Iraq in March exported an average of 1.92 million barrels a day by sea from its southern Basra
and 399,000 barrels a day from the northern oil hub of Kirkuk through a pipeline to Turkey, Al Ameri said.