Iraq exported 115.5 million barrels of crude oil in December, up from 101.31 million in November, marking an increase of 14 percent, according to the Oil Ministry.
In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said the revenues from last month's exports stood at nearly $7 billion based on preliminary figures released by the state oil marketing firm SOMO.
Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said the total volume of crude oil exported from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 112.4 million barrels, while the country exported over 3 million barrels through the Ceyhan port in southern Turkey.
This means the oil volume exported through Ceyhan rose by over 1,000 percent compared to the previous month’s level of 261,466 barrels.
Jihad said the daily rate of exports averaged nearly 3.73 million barrels in December, with an average price per barrel of $52.80, down from $61.15 in the previous month.
Although the spokesman did not specify the origin of oil exported through the Turkish port of Ceyhan, the figure likely includes exports from the oilfields in the northern province of Kirkuk, where oil activity had been halted for nearly a year after Iraqi forces took over the facilities in response to the September 2017 illegitimate referendum for independence of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) from the central government in Baghdad.
Oil extraction and pumping from Kirkuk was suspended in October 2017 until Nov. 16, 2018, when Iraq's federal government and the KRG reached a tentative agreement to resume oil exports from Kirkuk to Ceyhan.
Iraq is OPEC's second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia.
By Hale Turkes