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Oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi has called upon oil and natural gas companies operating in Iraq to increase their production for the rest of 2016 and 2017, according to a statement by Iraq’s oil ministry, quoted by Reuters.
The minister’s comments came just a week after OPEC decided to work toward a deal to limit output to a band of between 32.5 million barrels per day and 33 million bpd.
Market cheer and euphoric oil price hikes lasted for a few days after OPEC’s deal-to-reach-a-deal, but the market and analysts were quick to realize that a specific agreement is anything but a done deal.
A day after OPEC producers agreed on September 28 to limit production, it was Iraq that questioned OPEC’s methods of calculating production estimates for each member state. The organization relies on two sets of data for these estimates: production figures supplied by each member, and data from external sources. Iraq’s production ranges between 4.35 million bpd and 4.7 million bpd, according to various sources.
Meanwhile, speculation and OPEC talk continue to swing the crude prices up and down, and this week there will be an informal meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC ministers in Istanbul that will be feeding the market with carefully picked comments and hints.
Regarding the Istanbul meeting, Iraq’s oil ministry said in a statement on Monday that the minister of oil Al-Luaibi “is not going to participate in the informal meeting”.
The minister, however, will take part in the OPEC meeting at end-November, and he “is hopeful that the producer countries are going to make some decisions & solutions to raise the oil prices to satisfying levels,” the statement added.
Last but not least, the ministry said that “Iraq agreed to freeze its oil production with (4.750 to 5) million barrels/ day,” pointing to the figure it considers fit to freeze at.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.