Iraqi cabinet approves $118bn draft budget for 2013

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The Iraqi cabinet has approved a 2013 draft budget of 138 trillion Iraqi dinars ($118.6 billion) on Tuesday, and forwarded it to the parliament for final endorsement, the government’s media advisor said.

Iraq has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and depends on oil revenues to fund 95% of its national budget.

“The cabinet approved the 2013 budget with 138 trillion dinars and it will send it to parliament for final approval,” Ali al-Moussawi said while addressing a news conference.

OPEC-member Iraq exported an average of 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, the highest total crude exports in decades, and aims to boost shipments to above 2.8 million bpd this month.

It also aims to double its output over the next three years after decades of neglect of infrastructure due to war and economic sanctions.

Oil Shipments Resume

Meanwhile, Deputy Oil Minister Ahmed al-Shamaa confirmed on Tuesday that Baghdad has resumed exports from the southern oil terminals. He refused to give any exact figure though. Iraq halted shipments on Sunday due to bad weather.

Most of Iraq’s oil is shipped by sea from the southern export terminals, and returns from crude account for the bulk of the government’s budget.

Iraq has raised crude oil output to 3.4 million barrels a day. It recently beat out sanctions-saddled Iran to become OPEC’s second-biggest producer.

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