Iraq oil income in 2011 leaps by 60 percent

Iraq's income from oil sales jumped by nearly 60 percent in 2011 compared to the previous year on the back of higher crude prices and increased exports, Oil Ministry figures published on Monday showed.

Total exports of oil increased 15 percent to 790.5 million barrels of oil, or an average of around 2.17 million barrels per day (bpd), while prices rose by around a third, according to the figures.

Overall, Iraq exported 66.5 million barrels of oil in December, the highest such figure since August, at an average price of $106.18 per barrel, generating $7.061 billion in revenues.

May, however, remained Iraq's best month in 2011, with 69 million barrels of exports bringing in $7.47 billion.

In total, Iraq raised $82.988 billion in 2011. The previous year, the country sold 689.9 million barrels which generated $52.2 billion in revenues.

Oil sales account for the vast majority of Iraq's government income and around two-thirds of gross domestic product.

The country is looking to raise its production by around 500,000 bpd this year, upping average daily exports to around 2.6 million bpd, according to the Oil Ministry.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon