ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Oil Minister, Thamir Ghadhban, on Thursday reaffirmed that his country would cut its oil output to levels stipulated in an agreement between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies.
The statement came following a meeting in the United Arab Emirates between members of an alliance of oil giants known as OPEC+ that saw the organization arrive at a deal to lower oil production, demanding that both Iraq and Nigeria comply with their quotas.
In January, Baghdad reluctantly agreed to an OPEC+ output-cutting deal that aimed to bolster petroleum prices and "restore balance between supply and demand" in the market.
August, however, saw the first increase in output for OPEC in 2019 as a result of higher supply from both Iraq and Nigeria.
A recent Reuters survey indicated that lead OPEC producer Saudi Arabia is not deviating from the plan to restrict output, but August's increases by Iraq and Nigeria were apparently significant enough to outweigh both this and additional losses caused by US sanctions on Iran.
On Sunday, Ghadhban said that Iraq “needed” to raise production because the sweltering heat of the summer months leads to increased domestic consumption. He added that Iraq is “committed” to the production cutting agreement and would start doing so in October.
In recent months, Baghdad has exported an average of around 4.8 million barrels of oil per day. On Thursday, Iraq agreed to cut its supply of oil by 175,000 barrels per day (bpd) while Nigeria is set to lower output by 57,000 bpd, Reuters reported.
Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in OPEC.
Editing by John J. Catherine