Iraq's crude oil production more than doubled over the past decade, the U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Friday.
Crude oil production, including lease condensate, in the country averaged 4.45 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, according to the EIA's International Energy Statistics data, rising from 2.09 million bpd in 2007 -- a 113 percent increase.
"Crude oil production in Iraq averaged 4.5 million barrels per day (bpd) through August 2018, up from 4.4 million bpd in 2017," the statement said.
"Iraq’s crude oil production has been steadily increasing since declines in the late 1990s and early 2000s," it added.
After the U.S.' invasion in 2003, crude oil output in Iraq fell to 1.31 million bpd that year, from 2.04 million bpd the year before -- a 36 percent decline -- according to the data.
Iraq's crude oil production steadily increased over the next years to climb above 3 million bpd in 2013, and surpassing 4 million bpd in 2015, the data showed.
- Most output comes from southern fields
"Nearly 90 percent of Iraq’s crude oil production comes from onshore oil fields in the southern part of the country; these fields are under the control of the central government in Baghdad," the EIA said in its statement.
"The remaining 10 percent of Iraqi crude oil production comes from oil fields in northern Iraq," it added.
Since Iraq produces much more oil than it consumes, it exports the remaining oil it has and its economy is highly dependent on revenues from oil sales.
"Crude oil exports accounted for 88 percent, or almost $60 billion of total government revenues in 2017," the statement showed
- Most exports go to Asia
Most of Iraq's oil exports target Asia, led by India, then China and South Korea.
"Total seaborne Iraqi crude oil exports averaged 3.8 million b/d in 2017, mostly from terminals in southern Iraq. More than half of Iraqi seaborne exports go to markets in Asia," the statement said.
The second major destination for the country's oil exports is the U.S., followed by Europe, in which Greece, Italy and the Netherlands receive the most Iraqi oil. "Exports to the U.S. account for 17 percent of total Iraqi exports," it added.
In the Middle East and Africa region, Israel is the top country to buy Iraqi oil. "Relatively small volumes of crude oil are also transported by truck or pipeline to Turkey," said the statement.
Iraq is the second biggest crude oil producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia, and holds the world’s fifth largest proved crude oil reserves.
By Ovunc Kutlu