BAGHDAD – A senior Iraqi official says daily oil exports have shot up in February to 2.8 million barrels from nearly 2.3 million barrels in the previous month, thanks to a small group of international oil companies developing oil fields and export infrastructure.
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for energy, Hussain al-Shahristani, also said Saturday in the southern oil-rich city of Basra that average production, including the exports, exceeded 3.5 million barrels per day last month. Al-Shahristani described the figures as "unprecedented."
Iraq's daily oil production and exports have climbed steadily since 2011, nearly two years after Iraq awarded rights to develop its major oil fields to international oil companies. It holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves, some 143.1 billion barrels, and oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of its budget.