Iraq says oil capacity near 5mn bpd
Iraq says its crude oil production capacity is already nearing 5 million barrels per day, but has nonetheless emphasized that it would respect a deal with other producers to main supplies to markets to help stabilize prices.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi was quoted by media as saying that the country’s current oil production capacity stood at 4.3 million barrels per day.
However, he emphasized that Baghdad had no plans to unleash new supplies to the market and thus disturb the existing price stability.
“We are watching the market and the market is okay in terms of supply and demand balance,” al-Luaibi was quoted as saying by Reuters at an industry conference in Abu Dhabi.
“There’s still a gap, inventories are still high. The inventory level will decrease gradually and we will see how things will go,” he told reporters.
Luaibi said the supply cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers should continue despite a rise in oil prices.
“The market now is not 100 percent stable,” he said, adding that current oil prices could be sustained, but there might be some fluctuations.
For the week, Brent crude rose 3.3 percent, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude jumped 4.7 percent, having hit its strongest since late 2014 at $64.77 on Thursday, Reuters added.
The deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia to cut 1.8 million barrels per day of crude, which started in January 2017, is due to last until the end of 2018.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Luaibi said that his ministry plans to conclude three contracts with international gas companies by mid-2018 to utilize gas from Basra, Maysan and Nassiriyah southern provinces.
He said that by 2021, the country plans to “reach zero gas flaring”.
Iraq is forced to flare some of the gas produced alongside crude oil as it lacks the facilities needed to capture and process it into usable fuel, Reuters concluded.