economy Since 2017-04-02 at 18:34 (Baghdad time)
Baghdad Mawazine News
OPEC Secretary-General Mohamed Barkindo said on Sunday that Iraq had given assurances to the Organization that it would fully abide by the agreement to reduce oil supplies aimed at boosting crude prices.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi told reporters after a speech at a conference in the Iraqi capital Baghdad attended by Barkindo that Iraq is now committed to 98 percent agreement to reduce production.
Barkindo told the conference that the level of commitment to the agreement between producers from within OPEC and abroad to reduce supply at the end of last year is "encouraging".
He said the overall level of commitment of oil producers to cuts was 86 percent in January and 94 percent in February.
He pointed out that the market is already balanced, adding that oil stocks are falling.
Al-Allaibi expressed his satisfaction with the current agreement, but declined to say whether Iraq supports its extension or not, leaving the decision for a ministerial meeting expected for OPEC in May.
He said that the current agreement "contains many positive elements and achieved many goals and work continues to reach a reduction of 1.8" million barrels per day as agreed by OPEC and 11 independent producers, including Russia during the first half of 2017.
The deal raised crude oil prices to around $ 50 a barrel. But the rise in price also encouraged US rock producers who did not participate in the agreement to increase production.
Al-Allaibi said that while Iraq is committed to achieving the goal of reducing production in full, it will continue to implement projects to raise production capacity to 5 million barrels per day.
He added that Iraq, the second largest oil producer within OPEC after Saudi Arabia, will proceed in parallel in the exploration plans to increase reserves of 15 billion barrels per day in 2018 to 178 billion barrels.
He pointed out that plans to increase the capacity of the existing fields include a plan to inject the sea water.
The Iraqi Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) announced that the average oil production reached 4.464 million barrels per day since the beginning of March, which means a decrease of more than 300 thousand barrels per day from levels before the implementation of the OPEC agreement, which came into effect on January 1.
Sumo said crude exports averaged 3.756 million barrels per day (bpd) in March compared to a record high of more than 4 million bpd in November.
Most Iraqi oil exports from southern ports where most of the country's crude production. Al-Luaibi said the average exports of the south reached 3.2 million bpd in March.
Barkindo described Saturday's meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and other Iraqi leaders in Baghdad as "very constructive".
Iraq's natural gas production will triple to 1700 million cubic feet per day by 2018 as part of the implementation of projects to reduce gas burning, Al-Allaibi said at the conference.