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Saudi Feb. Oil Exports Up %3.5 as Iran, Iraq Leapfrogged

April 17 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia boosted crude exports by 3.5 percent in February to the highest in five months, while Iran’s shipments gained and Iraq sold the most oil for at least 12 years, the Joint Organisations Data Initiative said.

Saudi Arabia shipped 7.76 million barrels a day compared with 7.5 million in January, data posted on the initiative’s website showed today. Iran’s exports grew 29 percent to 1.65 million barrels a day in February, according to the agency, known as JODI.

Iraq, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, after Saudi Arabia, increased exports to 2.8 million barrels a day, up 26 percent from January, the data showed. Iraq sold the most in February since at least 2002, when JODI started collecting data from member states. JODI is supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum and compiles data provided by member governments.

OPEC will need to provide 30.6 million barrels a day of crude in the second half of this year, the International Energy Agency estimated in its monthly report in April. That marks an increase of 350,000 barrels a day from the IEA’s previous monthly forecast, as the Paris-based adviser curtailed its outlook for oil production in countries outside OPEC.

Iran boosted shipments amid talks between its government and world powers over Iran’s nuclear program. Iraq plans to be able to pump 4 million barrels a day by year-end, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said on March 29. The Arab nation plans to raise exports to 3.4 million barrels a day by December, Thamir Ghadhban, an adviser to Iraq’s prime minister, said on Feb. 26.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Manama at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net Bruce Stanley, Rachel Graham

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