Minister raises questions about Iraq’s oil ambitions

26 Mar 2010

(MENAFN) Iraq’s Oil Minister, Hussain Al Shahristani, has raised questions over the country’s planned energy expansion by indicating that the government would consider OPEC’s curbs, which would keep supply well short of ambitious capacity targets, Reuters reported.

Iraq has signed several oil contracts that would add nearly 10 million barrels per day (bpd) to its oil supply, but tough talks are expected within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on an eventual output target for Iraq.

The Iraqi minister seemed to have jumped straight to the end game before even sitting down at the negotiating table with his fellow ministers.
Last week in Vienna for an OPEC meeting, Shahristani said that Baghdad would participate in OPEC agreements to lessen oil supply when oil production reached 4 million bpd, some 8 million bpd short of Iraq’s envisaged target.

An OPEC quota for Iraq of around 4 million bpd would provide further support for oil prices in the medium term than was the prospect of the country remaining outside the system as it expanded supplies to near 12 million bpd.

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