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Iraq receives almost USD 100 billion in sales of oil in 2012

Iraq receives almost USD 100 billion in sales of oil in 2012

Iraq received US $94 billion in revenue from the sale of its crude oil in 2012, the largest amount ever reported by any EITI country. This is one of the findings of the latest Iraq EITI Report.

Revenue driven by export of oil

Iraq increased its production in 2012 by more than 10% on the year before to over a billion barrels. An additional 22 million barrels were received in 2012 from the Kurdistan Region, bringing the total, including existing stocks and other received surplus, to 1.13 billion barrels. Of these, almost 80% (887 million barrels) were exported, with the majority going to the Far East (52%) and the remainder split between the United States (26%) and Europe (22%).  

“This report, Iraq’s first under the 2013 EITI Standard, confirms the country’s position as a leader on the disclosure of crude oil sales”, Jonas Moberg, Head of the International Secretariat of the EITI said.

In Iraq, all oil resources are state-owned and oil sales are the main source of income for the government.

As well as explaining the process of selling oil and reconciling the amounts paid by the 43 accredited buyers for the purchase of that with what the government received in 2012, for the first time the report includes a crude sale contract template. Sales are disaggregated by company and region for export, while production data for export crude is also listed by producing company and month. 

Domestic sales generate less revenue

Another first is that the EITI Report contains information on domestic sales, including amongst other things a reconciliation of net revenue from sale of oil products to the local market for the years 2009-2011. Both domestic and export sales have increased over the past three years, due to an overall increase in oil production. More than 80% of Iraqi oil is sold internationally. 

This chart shows the share of domestic oil sales (consumption) as part of the total production. The large part of oil is exported (“net exports”). 

Based on the information disclosed in this and previous reports, the average revenue received by the government per barrel sold domestically eight times less than those exported. 

Domestic sales vs. exports*





Total Production (million barrels)





Exported barrels (million barrels)





Domestic sales (million barrels)





Percent sold domestically





Revenue - exports (billion US $)





Average revenue per barrel exported (US $)





Revenue - domestic sales (billion US $)




Not available

Average revenue per barrel sold domestically (US $)




Not available

* Iraq EITI Reports 2009-2012

** US Energy Information Administration

all figures are rounded

“With such price differences for domestic sales versus export, it is important that Iraqi citizens understand the role that international sales can play in increasing government revenues”, says Mr. Mohammed Kirkukly, Programme Officer at the Natural Resource Governance Institute. “This is an area where the EITI can help raise the quality of the debate”.

Kurdistan Region figures not provided

The report states that figures were sought but not received from the autonomous Kurdistan Region, which does not yet participate in EITI reporting. However, the latest report includes a chapter on the Kurdish Region, providing an overview of the industry in the region based on publicly available information from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

According to the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources, total revenue from sales of oil crude and oil products in the Kurdistan Region totaled US $2.3 billion in 2012, a 6% increase on the year before.

Transitioning to the Standard

This is Iraq’s first report under the 2013 EITI Standard, which expands the breadth and depth of information on a number of new areas which have not previously been part of Iraq’s EITI process, including employment in the sector, the industry’s contribution to the national income, license maps and coordinates, technical service contracts and development and production service contracts. Future reports will build on this progress and also include information on total revenues, the mining sector and mandatory regional transfers, among other topics. 


For more information about the EITI in the Iraq, see  or visit their country page on our website. 

Note to editors: we encourage the republishing of our content. Please attribute this article with: "Iraq receives almost US $100 billion in sales of oil in 2012" was published on on 14 January 2015.