Decline in oil prices costs Iraq 27% of projected revenues for 2014
BAGHDAD - The sharp decline in global oil prices has "greatly affected" Iraq, costing the country 27 percent of its projected revenues for the year, the oil ministry said on Saturday.
"The Iraqi economy and the federal budget were greatly affected by the projected decline in revenues, and more than 27 percent of its projected revenues for this year were lost," the ministry said.
Oil prices have declined sharply since June, hitting the state coffers of energy-dependent countries.
Iraq is heavily reliant on oil exports, and the government is seeking to dramatically ramp up sales to fund the reconstruction of its battered infrastructure.
Though the ministry referred to the Iraqi budget, one was never approved by parliament for 2014 amid a row between Baghdad and the country's autonomous Kurdish region over natural resources and funds.
Baghdad considers the three-province northern region's independent export of crude to be illegal, while Kurdistan says the federal government has failed to distribute required funding to the region.
On Friday, Kurdistan's natural resources ministry announced the region had exported $2.87 billion in oil since the beginning of the year.
The ministry said it is treating the proceeds as part of the 17 percent of the federal budget to which the region is entitled, "which has been suspended by the federal government since January 2014".