Iraq Oil Exports Hit Record in June; Output Climbing

Iraq exported 3.187 million barrels of oil a day in June, its oil ministry said. It was a 1.37 percent increase over May's output. The ministry also reported that at the end of June Iraq was pumping 4.388 million barrels per day.

The Iraqi exports, as a whole, increased even though flow through Ceyhan in Turkey fell from 451,000 barrels per day in May to 167,000 bpd in June, Reuters reported. Kirkuk is an oil-producing hub in the northern, Kurdish provinces of Iraq, and it trans-ships its oil through a pipeline to Ceyhan and via trucking. However over recent weeks, a payment dispute between the semi-autonomous Kurds and the Baghdad government has cut back the shipments, Platt reported.

The Iraqi increase was part of an overall growth in production by OPEC, which in June saw a three-year high of 30.6 million barrels per day extraction.

However, Iraq's record exports come during a period of serious fighting. The United Nations also today reported that war deaths in Iraq climbed to 1,466 in June.

The fighting between the IS caliphate and the Baghdad and Kurdish forces occurs in the western, desert provinces of Iraq. Iraq's oil production tends to be in the eastern provinces, with large oil fields, including the Rumaila super-giant, located in the southeast near export terminals on the Persian Gulf.