Iraq to abide by OPEC cut, expects output growth in future

Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:51am EST
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By Rania El Gamal

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iraq is committed to cutting its production to comply with a global pact to support prices, the country's oil minister said, adding he was nevertheless confident OPEC's No. 2 producer has the potential to boost its output in coming years.

Iraq is reviewing several options to implement the reduction, including cuts from Kirkuk oilfield, southern fields being developed by oil majors or other state-run areas, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said in an interview.

"The cuts will aim at the figures we agreed with OPEC definitely, but (for) the areas of the cuts there are many options on the table," Luaibi told Reuters on Saturday.

Last month, OPEC agreed to cut output by 1.2 million bpd from January 2017. Baghdad, which has called to be exempted from OPEC restrictions as it needs the income to fight Islamic State, would reduce its output by around 200,000 barrels per day to 4.351 million bpd.

Luaibi said his ministry was in discussions with foreign companies operating Iraq's giant southern fields to implement some cuts during scheduled maintenance.

"Some IOCs will have maintenance requirements in some limited places in some fields... so this is a good opportunity to do them," he said.

Iraq's production in December will be slightly higher than November's, Luaibi said.

"I can assure you that our production, I am talking with confidence, has reached the level of 4.8 million bpd."   Continued...

Iraq's Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi talks to journalists during a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader