ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi stated on Wednesday that his country would cooperate with members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and states outside of the organization to maintain the stability of oil prices and prevent sharp increases, despite his opposition to the plan.
Members of OPEC and Russia along with other oil producers agreed last week to a modest increase in oil production starting from July, despite Iraq's disagreement with the policy during the talks.
“Any price increase above current levels could lead to a collapse in oil prices,” Abadi said during his weekly press briefing in Baghdad. “Higher oil prices could lead to a setback in prices, and this is not of interest to us, nor of interest to other OPEC countries.”
He mentioned that Iraq had handed its proposal to OPEC at the Vienna meeting where the price reduction had been decided but did not offer further details.
Benchmark Brent crude was trading above $76 a barrel on Tuesday. The price has been increasing due to OPEC-led production cuts that began in Jan. 2016 from a low of below $30 in 2016.
Several consumer states have demanded that OPEC act to prevent further price increases.
On Friday, OPEC members agreed to boost output by about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) starting from July. The move came after the world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia persuaded its Iranian rival to cooperate.
Editing by John J. Catherine