Iraq oil exports rebound after two-month lull

Iraq's oil exports, which account for the lion's share of government income, rebounded in February after a two-month lull, figures published by the oil ministry showed on Thursday.

Iraq exported 71 million barrels of oil in February, or about 2.54 million barrels per day (bpd), up from around 2.36 million bpd the previous month, according to data published on the website of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation on Wednesday.

The sales brought in revenues of $7.644 billion, the figures showed.

Baghdad is almost entirely dependent on crude sales for much-needed revenues to rebuild Iraq's decrepit infrastructure and state-dominated economy, both of which have been shattered by decades of conflict and sanctions.

Iraq has sought in recent years to sign contracts with international energy firms in order to boost output sharply and cement its role as a key global oil supplier.

Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi said this month that the country plans to invest $173 billion in its energy infrastructure over the next five years in order to dramatically ramp up its crude output in a bid to boost production to 9.0 million bpd, from around 3.15 million bpd now.

The country has proven reserves of 143.1 billion barrels, among the highest figure in the world.

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