2017 was a year of consolidation for Baghdad; federal exports averaged 3.31mn b/d, and revenues rose $15.7bn. But longer term, the oil ministry must address perennial contract issues to steer the industry in the right direction.

Iraq exited 2017 on a high note with record federal crude exports of 3.535mn b/d in December. This edged out December 2016’s previous record of 3.519mn b/d. With average crude export prices averaging a more than three-year high of $59.29/B, revenues of...