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Story by NRT

Iraq exported a record level of oil for 2015 in March, reaching almost 92 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Iraqi Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad.

Up to 90 percent of the oil was exported through the southern Basra port, with the remaining 10 percent exported to the Mediterranean via the Ceyhan pipeline.

March’s output was 15 percent higher than exports in February, with officials blaming inclement weather in the southern port.

Despite increased output, global oil prices remain at historic lows and pose serious issues for Iraq’s economy, which is heavily dependent on oil revenue.

Hussein al-Awadi, a member of the Oil and Gas Committee in Iraq’s parliament, describes the country’s heavy dependence on oil funds as a major problem and contributor to the weakening economy.

Awadi proposes Iraq raise gross national products by developing the agricultural sector and lowering exports.

For him, the way forward is to develop and pave the way for the foreign investors to return to Iraq.

Iraq’s national budget is nearly 90 percent reliant on oil revenues and oil exports.

As Baghdad faces a grim 2015 and worsening financial crisis if oil prices remain low and the military campaign against the Islamic State (IS) continues with no end in sight.