UPDATE: Iraq passes 2021 budget with record deficit and new oil deal for KRG

The new budget law lays out a revised framework for Baghdad-Erbil oil and revenue cooperation and projects a record deficit that is only likely to be filled if global oil prices remain high.
UPDATE: Iraq passes 2021 budget with record deficit and new oil deal for KRG
Iraq's Parliament votes for an emergency 12 trillion ($10.2 billion) financing law on Nov. 12, 2020. (Source: Iraqi Parliament media office)

EDITOR’S NOTE: In recent weeks, multiple different versions of the 2021 budget law have been circulated and key changes were made at the last minute, during the process of voting. The final version of the budget is the langauge that was approved after being read aloud in Parliament — but even that language is sometimes subject to minor, subsequent corrections. In past years, the “final” written version of the budget has not appeared until several days after the voice vote. This makes it difficult to provide full and accurate details of the budget immediately after its ratification. The figures in this story reflect Iraq Oil Report’s best effort to triangulate provisional, written drafts of the budget with video excerpts of the legislative session as well as the first-hand impressions of MPs and senior politicians involved in budget negotiations. This story will be updated, with corrections noted, as more authoritative information becomes available.

Iraq's Parliament passed a 2021 budget Wednesday that preserves a recent currency devaluation, projects a record-setting deficit, and outlines a vague but hopeful compromise for oil and revenue cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil.

The budget anticipates 81.17 trillion Iraqi dinars ($55.98 billion) in federal oil revenues this year, based on a projection that the government will sell an average of 3.25 million bpd of oil * at $45 per barrel ** — including 250,000 bpd from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), according to multiple MPs, a senior official involved in negotiating the budget, and copies of the draft law obtained by Iraq Oil Report.

This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.
If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial.
Iraq Oil Report Attribution Policy

All sources quoted or referenced spoke to Iraq Oil Report directly and exclusively, unless stated otherwise. Iraq Oil Report typically grants anonymity to sources that can't speak without risking their personal safety or job security. We only publish information from anonymous sources that we independently corroborate and are important to core elements of the story. We do not provide anonymity to sources whose purpose is to further personal or political agendas.

Iraq Oil Report Commitment to Independence

Iraq Oil Report strives to provide thoroughly vetted reporting and fair-minded analysis that enables readers to understand the dynamic events of Iraq. To meet this goal, we always seek to gather first-hand information on the ground, verify facts from multiple angles, and solicit input from every stakeholder involved in a given story.

We view our independence as an integral piece of our competitive advantage. Whereas many media entities in Iraq are owned or heavily influenced by political parties, Iraq Oil Report is wholly owned by several of its employees. In a landscape that is often polarized and politicized, we are able to gather and corroborate information from an unusually wide array of sources because we can speak with all of them in good faith.

To fund this enterprise, Iraq Oil Report depends on revenue from both advertising and subscriptions. Some of our advertisers and subscribers ‐ including companies, governments, and NGOs ‐ are also subjects of our reporting. Consistent with journalistic best practices, Iraq Oil Report maintains a strict firewall that removes business considerations from editorial decision-making. When we are choosing which stories to report and how to write them, our readers always come first.