Iraqi PM hails OPEC deal as important for oil market stability

<p style="text-align:left">Iraq&amp;rsquo;s premier praised the OPEC deal on Tuesday which will make make oil production cuts stable for nine more months because it is important for market stability as Baghdad is so heavily dependent on oil revenue.

&ldquo;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,&rdquo; 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 &ldquo;face market developments and preserve the measures undertaken&rdquo;, 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&rsquo;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 &mdash; 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&rsquo;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&rsquo;s &ldquo;ATM&rdquo; 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 &ldquo;other countries.&rdquo;
&ldquo;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,&rdquo; he said.
Some ExxonMobil employees have returned, the PM claimed, without elaborating.
Separately, the PM also touched on connecting Iraq&rsquo;s electricity grid to Arab and regional electricity grids &mdash; namely Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.
&ldquo;We haven&rsquo;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&rsquo;t entail] certain financial burdens, extending networks, and costs for these units,&rdquo; the PM said, though adding the discussions are &ldquo;serious.&rdquo;
&ldquo;We, as Iraq, have to be connected to [electricity] grids just like the countries of the world,&rdquo; he emphasized.
Iraq&rsquo;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.
Reporter's code: 50101

News Code 36526

Your Comment

You are replying to: .