New data on Iraq oil revenues suggests that country’s government will reap an even larger than expected windfall this year — as much as $70 billion — according to the special U.S. auditor for Iraq.
New figures from Iraq’s government show revenue from exports hit $5.83 billion in December — more than $1 billion over what was previously reported by the government.
The latest data “clearly substantiates … that Iraq is enjoying a record windfall as the result of record oil prices, record oil production and record oil exports,” argues Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.
With the revised December figure, and continued strong production and export figures since then, Bowen now believes oil revenues could soar to $70 billion in 2008. “If this continues, it would be double what they anticipated” for their budget, he said. Bowen’s upcoming report will show postwar records set early this year for both oil production and exports.
The figures are likely to strengthen calls by the US that Iraq should pay more of its reconstruction costs.