Iraq oil minister wants to increase output in 2017
Iraq’s oil minister has urged oil and natural gas producers operating in the country to continue increasing output next year, the oil ministry said in a statement yesterday. Jabar AlLuaibi’s comments came as OPEC nations are trying to implement an agreement to curb oil output for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, in order to push up crude prices.
The ministry’s statement quoted remarks Luaibi made to a meeting of Iraq oil industry executives in the southern oil city of Basra to review the ministry’s oilfields’ development plans. It made no mention of the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Sept. 28 to reduce output to a range of between 32.50 million barrels per day and 33.0 million bpd. OPEC’s production stood at around 33.6 million bpd in September, according to a Reuters survey that put Iraq’s output at 4.43 million bpd.
The minister “has affirmed the need to proceed forth with increasing oil and gas production through enhancing the national effort and those of the licensed companies for the remainder of 2016 and also for 2017,” the statement said.
Foreign companies’ oil output targets “should be reached within the assigned periods,” the ministry quoted Luaibi as saying. The ministry also aims to increase associated gas output by adding 350 to 450 million cubic feet a day to the nation’s production in 2017, Luaibi said. Natural gas output levels in Iraq’s southern region are tied to crude production levels as the two are produced from the same reservoirs.
The oil ministers of Iran and Iraq will not attend informal talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Turkey this week, sources familiar with the matter said yesterday. OPEC sources and the Russian energy minister had said on Thursday that ministers from the two countries would be among representatives of OPEC states at the meeting in Istanbul, which is hosting the World Energy Congress.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Sept. 28 a deal to limit crude production and is looking to secure the cooperation of nonOPEC members such as Russia to help support oil prices.
The meeting in Istanbul is expected to be more bilateral gatherings rather than one single meeting of both OPEC and nonOPEC states, one OPEC source said on Sunday, dismissing prospects of any decisions being taken in the Turkish city.
Energy ministers who will be present in Istanbul as it hosts the congress include those of the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Venezuela and Qatar, which holds the OPEC presidency. The agreement reached in Algiers is expected to be implemented this year and OPEC ministers will next meet in Vienna on Nov 30 to set the group’s supply policy. — Reuters