EghtesadOnline: Iraq said it has gone deeper than its pledged oil-output cut, potentially ending a seven-month period in which OPEC saw the nation falling short of its agreed curbs.
The second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is pumping 4.32 million barrels a day of oil, below the 4.35 million target agreed last year, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said on Friday. However, he said the government in Baghdad doesn’t have reliable figures for shipments from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, which accounts for about a tenth of the nation’s production, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
"We are the country that is really committed” to the OPEC agreement, Al-Luaibi said at a briefing in Moscow, following a meeting with his Russian counterpart. Kurdistan’s export figures are "foggy, we don’t know much about it," he said.
There are estimates that Kurdish exports stand at 300,000 to 350,000 barrels a day, "but they don’t reflect the accurate figures to us,” Al-Luaibi said. The region hasn’t published its own production figures since November.
Exports of crude from Kurdistan, which also include some output from fields in northern Iraq outside the semi-autonomous region, averaged 581,000 barrels a day in August, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The flow was up 31,000 barrels a day from July and was the highest since May, the data show.
Iraq as a whole pumped 4.49 million barrels a day in August, a slight reduction from July, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data.
It’s too early to say whether OPEC and its allies will need to extend the production cuts beyond the first quarter of 2018, Al-Luaibi said. That decision will depend on the stability of prices at the time of the group’s next meeting in November, he said. If there is a resolution to prolong the curbs, Iraq would comply, he said.