Iraq oil min­is­ter wants to in­crease out­put in 2017

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

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.

Shun­ning talks

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

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