Iraq says it wants to increase oil output despite Opec cut deal

Jessica Morris
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Oil tankers are anchored at Basra harbou
Iraq is as a potential stumbling block to Opec's provisional output cut deal (Source: Getty)

Iraq has signalled that it wants to increase oil output as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) tries to agree the details of its first production cut agreement since the 2008 financial crisis.

It comes as Opec prepares for an unusual string of meetings to hammer out the terms of a production cut ahead of its next official gathering on 30 November.

Iraq's oil minister, Jabar al-Luaibi, told oil and natural gas producers operating in the country to continue increasing oil production next year, according to a statement by Iraq's oil ministry today.

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Al-Luaibi "has affirmed the need to proceed forth with increasing oil and gas production through enhancing the national effort and those of the licensed companies for the remainder of 2016 and also for 2017," it said.

Foreign companies' oil output targets "should be reached within the assigned period."

Iraq has previously been identified as a potential stumbling block to Opec's provisional output cut deal due to discrepancies between its production figures and those published by the oil cartel.

Iraq said it did not trust Opec's oil production numbers shortly after a tentative agreement to reduce output to between 32.5m barrels per day and 33m barrels per day was struck in Algeria last month.

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The reported numbers are important because they will help determine how much each individual Opec member will have to cut production by.

Separately, Russia's energy minister said he expects Opec to try and get other non-Opec countries to curtail production.

"We are waiting for the proposals which Opec will elaborate internally to meet target (production) levels and with which they will come out and approach non-Opec nations," Novak said in an interview with Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, published on the Russian Energy Ministry's website on Sunday.

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