Iraq proposes $118bn budget for 2013
Baghdad, September 24, 2012
Iraq has sent a 2013 preliminary budget of $118 billion to the cabinet for approval, based on a world oil price of $90 a barrel, and foresees a deficit of $15.5 billion, deputy Finance Minister Fadhil Nabi said on Monday.
The budget, which included $45.5 billion for investment projects, was based on oil exports at 2.9 million bpd, including 175,000 barrels from the Kurdistan region, Nabi said.
"The budget increases every year from the year before," Nabi told Reuters, attributing the rise to higher expenditure on government projects and employment.
Opec member Iraq aims to double its output over the next three years after decades of neglect of infrastructure due to war and economic sanctions.
Iraq has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves and currently exports an average of 2.5 million barrels per day
The country depends on oil revenues to fund about 95 percent of its budget.
Nabi said the budget has allocated $644 million for companies working in the autonomous Kurdistan region.
Sources told Reuters last week that Royal Dutch Shell was exploring possibilities in Iraqi Kurdistan, having seen rivals Exxon Mobil and Total risk Baghdad's wrath by moving into the autonomous northern region while developing major oilfields in the south.
Iraq's parliament approved a 2012 budget of $100 billion in February, based on an average oil price of $85 per barrel and 2.6 million bpd in exports. - Reuters