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Iraq Claims OPEC+ Won't Change Its Strategy This Year

The OPEC+ group doesn’t plan to change the pace of easing the collective production cuts at its next meeting in early December and will review the output schedule in the first quarter next year, Iraq’s Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail said on Thursday.

The alliance will target to add all the 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in additional supply it has scheduled for each month, the minister said at a press conference, as carried by Bloomberg.

The next OPEC+ meeting is slated to take place on December 2.

The group has faced criticism from oil-importing countries, including the United States and Japan, for not boosting production more than the 400,000-bpd monthly increase in view of the tight oil market and high oil prices. Analysts have also recently paid attention to the fact that some members of the OPEC+ alliance, such as Angola and Nigeria, are struggling to raise supply to their respective quotas, thus leaving the market even more undersupplied than it is estimated to be.

The oil minister of OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia also said today that the OPEC+ group is not after a specific oil price level.

“OPEC policy is not about lowering or raising prices,” the minister said, as quoted by Bloomberg.

“Rather it’s about achieving stability in energy supplies. OPEC’s objective is to prevent prices from collapsing. There is no target to reach a certain price,” he added.

Referring to Iraq’s expected crude oil exports this month, Jabbar told reporters in Baghdad that the producer would target to export 3.2 million bpd in November from the oilfields that are under the control of the central government in Baghdad. During the first quarter of next year, Iraq’s exports from the federal government-controlled fields are expected to increase by 200,000 bpd to 3.4 million bpd as the OPEC+ group continues to ease the production cuts, the minister said.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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