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Iraq confirms its commitment to reduce oil production
Tuesday 29 December 2020 46
Baghdad: Saad Al-Sammak Iraq reaffirmed its full commitment to OPEC Plus's limitations in reducing crude oil production, in accordance with the decisions of the organization and its allies to reduce the oversupply and control oil prices, which fell to a low level last May. The director general of the Basra Oil Company, Khaled Hamzah, confirmed to Al-Sabah, "The export rate has stabilized at two million 700 thousand standard barrels per day, through the Al-Faw oil port." Hamzah added, "Iraq committed itself to reducing crude oil production during the last period, in accordance with the quotas specified in the organization's program, stressing continuation at this level." He explained, "The Ministry of Oil has prepared plans to implement strategic projects to double the export capacity of oil ports, which currently amount to more than (4 million barrels per day), to accommodate the expected increases in production." Meanwhile, the Ministry of Oil revealed its plan to add a new floating platform to the previous platforms within the Japanese loan, as well as new pipeline projects and periodic maintenance operations. In a statement to the ministry, Deputy Minister of Oil, Karim Hattab, said: “We are working to provide an appropriate environment for workers who are keen to maintain oil exports.” This comes after Hattab's visit to the Basra oil port last Saturday. It is noteworthy that OPEC countries and countries from outside reached an agreement to reduce production, starting from the beginning of last May, by reducing about 9.7 million barrels per day, or the equivalent of about 10 percent of the total global production, after the price of a barrel fell to a level below $ 16 a barrel, affected On the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, and US oil prices fell below zero for the first time in history.
By Adam Montana
Is OPEC’s No.2 Finally Complying With Output Cuts?
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Jun 09, 2020, 10:00 AM CDT
Join Our Community OPEC’s second-largest producer, Iraq, which also happens to be the least compliant member of OPEC+ since the group started managing supply to the market in 2017, may have finally started taking its obligations seriously.
Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) has asked some of the Asian buyers of its Basrah crude grades if they could give up delivery of some already contracted cargoes for loading this month and next, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News on Tuesday.
The request for buyers to forgo some cargoes for those months suggests that this time, Iraq may be earnest in its attempt to play ball in the OPEC+ production cuts, after being the biggest cheater in all previous pacts.
Iraq’s (as well as Nigeria’s) non-compliance with the record OPEC+ cuts in May nearly wrecked last week’s meeting of the pact, ahead of which the two leaders of the group, Saudi Arabia and Russia, had insisted that there would be an extension by one month to the current level of cuts only if laggards in compliance ensured over-compliance going forward to compensate for flouting their quotas so far.
OPEC+ agreed on Saturday to extend the record production cuts of 9.7 million bpd by one month through the end of July, contingent on all countries in the pact complying 100 percent with their quotas and compensating for lack of compliance by overachieving in the cuts in July, August, and September.
Before the meeting, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and then-acting Oil Minister, Ali Allawi, vowed that his country would further reduce production as it remains committed to the OPEC+ pact.
At the video news conference following the OPEC+ meeting, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, emphatically said on Monday that “We have no room whatsoever for lack of conformity.”
Today, Iraq’s new Oil Minister, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael, confirmed in a phone call with his Saudi counterpart Iraq’s “full commitment” to the cuts, OPEC said in a press release on Tuesday. Iraq confirms “its commitment to the voluntary oil production adjustments of June and July 2020, as well as the voluntary adjustments for the period following the end of July, despite the economic and financial challenges,” Ismaael told the Saudi energy minister.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
By Adam Montana
OPEC deal important for oil market stability: Iraqi PM
By Mohammed Rwanduzy 2 hours ago Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addresses reporters during his weekly press conference in Baghdad on July 2, 2019. Photo: Iraqi PMO video ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraq’s premier praised the OPEC deal to on Tuesday staying oil production cuts for nine more months because it is important for market stability as Baghdad is so heavily dependent on oil revenue.
“This is important for market stability. This topic, for us, the Kingdom and all the producers and exporters of oil is important because budgets depend on oil market stability,” Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi told reporters in his weekly press conference on Tuesday. Members some non-members of the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) met in Vienna this week. Following a prior agreement on Monday between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the cartel agreed to extend production cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for nine more months until March 2020 in a bid to push global prices higher.
The agreement was based on the Saudi desires to “face market developments and preserve the measures undertaken”, the PM Abdul-Mahdi revealed, adding that he had a phone call with Saudi King Salman prior to the deal.
According to Iraqi Ministry of Oil statistics for the month of June, Iraq’s oil revenue fell from $7.38 billion in May to $6.4 billion in June as its exports fell by 6 percent, from 111 million barrels in May to 105 million barrels in June.
Iraq exports around 3.5 million barrels per month — the second highest crude oil producer in OPEC.
Iraq has agreements, especially a mega deal with the US giant ExxonMobil, to develop its southern oilfields to increase its production capacity. However, due to a missile that hit the main headquarters of the company in Basra, some foreign staff were evacuated in June.
The attack against ExxonMobil came amid soaring US-Iran tensions; Iraq could be negatively impacted if the hostilities breakout between Iran and the US.
However, it also raised questions about Iraq’s ability to provide a secure atmosphere in which foreign companies could invest in the decades-deprived oil sector. It has been reported that Iraq could act as Iran’s “ATM” to provide a loophole for US sanctions.
Abdul-Mahdi, in his typical understated manner downplayed the incidents against energy and other companies working in Iraq, claiming they do not exceed those in “other countries.”
“The security measures are crystal clear. Yes there have been threats, but no real security violation has taken place to any of our oil and non-oil installations. We undertake all measures,” he said.
Some ExxonMobil employees have returned, the PM claimed, without elaborating.
Separately, the PM also touched on connecting Iraq’s electricity grid to Arab and regional electricity grids — namely Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.
“We haven’t concluded this matter. It is still in the discussion stage. There is both a technical and a financial aspect to it. This is not something that [doesn’t entail] certain financial burdens, extending networks, and costs for these units,” the PM said, though adding the discussions are “serious.”
“We, as Iraq, have to be connected to [electricity] grids just like the countries of the world,” he emphasized.
Iraq does import electricity from Iran, but there needs to be greater interconnection with other regional countries, the PM posited.
Iraq’s electricity grid is aging and strained by an increasing population, reconstruction and development. Usage also peaks in the summer months as temperatures in the south soar over 50 Celsius. The hours of government-produced electricity varies greatly across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region by geography.
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