ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadhban on Monday said he expected oil prices to stop falling and rise over time, defending OPEC members’ recent decision to cut production.
Had the oil-producing countries not made the move, according to Ghadhban, prices would have fallen to between 45 and 50 dollars a barrel.
Weather conditions rather than technical reasons were the cause of the recent decline in oil exports, Ghadhban said during a ministry event in Baghdad, reassuring that Iraqi oil fields have high capacity.
“Our goal is to reach an export capacity of 6.5 million barrels per day, but over several stages,” he noted, according to Reuters.
In a recent statement, the ministry said that in total, the Federal Government of Iraq exported 3.372 million barrels of oil per day (bpd). The numbers are in decline for the third month in a row as the country exported 3.469 million bpd in October and 3.560 million bpd in September.
These export numbers are falling despite the mid-November deal between Erbil and Baghdad to restart exports of Kirkuk oil to Turkey through the Kurdistan Region after a year of disruption following the historic Kurdish independence referendum in September 2017.
Iraq almost entirely relies on oil to generate its revenue. Over the past few years, the country has faced budget deficits due to the market’s unstable oil prices.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany