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The semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq has agreed to reduce the region’s crude oil production as part of the ongoing OPEC+ agreement, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Thursday.
The statement came after Iraq’s Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said earlier this week at an online petroleum conference that “the Kurdistan Region has not been contributing to OPEC+ cuts.”
Iraq, the least compliant member of the OPEC+ production cut pact, has promised for months to reduce its oil production and fall in line with its quota—something it hasn’t done since 2017.
In recent months, Iraq has come under pressure from its fellow OPEC+ partners led by Saudi Arabia to stop cheating on their production quotas and finally start complying with the agreement.
OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia still has to fully comply with its commitment and needs to make additional cuts by the end of the year to compensate for its lack of compliance since the new OPEC+ deal began in May 2020.
In response to the Iraqi oil minister’s remarks earlier this week, KRG spokesperson Jotiar Adil said on Thursday:
“The KRG has committed to reducing its crude oil production in line with the decisions of the OPEC Plus (OPEC+) meetings, at rates consistent with the quantities of oil produced from its fields.”
“KRG has no objection to the continuation of production reduction in accordance with the fair rate that has been agreed, provided that the federal government is fully committed to covering the dues and expenses of KRG loses as a result of reduced production levels,” the spokesperson added.
The agreement between the federal government and Kurdistan about the production cuts from April 18 stressed the need that oil production cuts do not cause additional significant financial damage to KRG, the region said.
Last week, Iraqi media reported that the federal Iraqi government had proposed the establishment of a new oil company that would be managed jointly by Baghdad and Erbil to operate crude oil production and exports from Kurdistan.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com