Plunge in oil prices threatens Iraq’s postwar recovery
The latest plunge in oil prices has dealt a heavy blow to Iraq’s stagnating economy, threatening the new government’s ability to rebuild after the war with the Islamic State group and provide basic services to areas roiled by recent protests.
Brent crude oil, used to price international purchases, briefly rose above $85 a barrel in October but has since plummeted to less than $55 — a nightmare for a country like Iraq that derives 95 percent of its revenue from oil exports.
A $111.9 billion draft budget sent to parliament in October projects crude exports of 3.8 million barrels per day to be sold at $56 per barrel. The bill, which includes a 23 percent increase in spending, would leave a deficit of $22.8 billion.