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"OilPrice" expected, in an article published by journalist Simon Watkins, that oil production in Iraq would achieve a huge leap during the next few months.
Watkins said that the Iraqi oil officials' statements about the new production targets, which range between 6-8 million barrels per day, raise the question of experienced oil observers about the extent of this impact on the Iraqi oil industry.
And last week, the Director General of the Iraqi Governmental Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), Alaa Al-Yusri, said that Iraq targets 7 million barrels per day of crude oil in 2027.
According to the writer, the main reason why Iraq does not produce even 13 million barrels per day at the present time is that its oil industry seems to be seen by many in the upper levels of its various bureaucracies as part of their personal retirement funds. Beginning with ExxonMobil's hasty withdrawal from the corrupt Iraq Joint Seawater Supply Project (CSSP) as fear of massive reputational damage trumped desire for huge oil profits, Western international oil companies (IOCs) rushed out of the Iraqi oil sector.
The independent risk agency, Transparency International (TI), has highlighted for many years in its publications the Corruption Perceptions Index, that Iraq typically appears in the worst 10 out of 180 countries in terms of the scale and scope of corruption.
Transparency International says: “Massive embezzlement, procurement fraud, money laundering, oil smuggling and widespread bureaucratic bribery have landed the country at the bottom of international corruption rankings, fueling political violence and impeding effective state building and service delivery.”
The writer said: “Iraq can count on an additional 0.25 million barrels per day from West Qurna 2 within weeks. In addition to an additional 0.7 million barrels per day from Rumaila, this will increase Iraq’s total oil production by 0.95 million barrels per day within months.” Added This brings the October production of 4.561 million barrels per day to 5.511 million barrels per day, leaving 1.489 million barrels per day to reach the target level of seven million barrels per day.
He added, "For a country rich in easily accessible oil, that's a small step. For a country like Iraq, it's a huge leap."
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and his Iraqi counterpart, Hayan Abdul Ghani, stressed the importance of working within the framework of the OPEC + grouping, and the "possibility of taking other measures to ensure balance and stability in global markets if the need arises."
This came in a joint statement issued by the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Thursday, and it also stated that the two ministers stressed "their countries' commitment to the recent decision of the OPEC Plus group, which extends to the end of 2023."
The Iraqi Oil Ministry said that the minister arrived in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Thursday, at the invitation of Saudi Arabia.