Iraqi official crude exports of 3.285mn b/d in January were the second highest ever, just 80,000 b/d off November’s all-time record, and came on the back of record production in December. But with average January takings of just $22.21/B for exports of Basra Light and Basra Heavy crude, monthly earnings fell to just $2.262bn, the lowest since February 2009. This is despite volumes having risen by 1.5mn b/d over the intervening seven years (see graph).

All 3.325mn b/d of official...