Iraq oil exports fall on weather, sabotage

Iraqi oil exports fell in June for the second month in a row as poor weather hit southern ports and saboteurs damaged a key pipeline, the oil ministry said Monday.

Iraq exported 69.8 million barrels of oil in June at an average rate of 2.32 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 76.9 million barrels and 2.48 million bpd in May.

Average oil prices were $97.4 per barrel, meaning the country took in $6.799 billion from crude sales in June.

"Oil exports during the last month witnessed a slight decrease because of bad weather conditions in the southern ports, and acts of sabotage against the pipeline from Kirkuk to the port of Ceyhan," in Turkey, ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said in a statement.

Militants have repeatedly targeted the export pipeline which runs through northern Iraq.

Iraq is dependent on oil exports for the lion's share of its government income, and is seeking to dramatically ramp up its sales in the coming years to fund the reconstruction of its battered infrastructure.

Officials are aiming to increase production capacity to nine million bpd by 2017. Oil output currently stands at 3.4 million bpd.