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Iraq says it’s dealing with ‘technical issues’ to further cut output

Iraq is dealing with “technical issues” to further cut its output, the country’s acting oil minister said on June 2, a day after OPEC’s second-largest oil producer revealed export figures that signal lax compliance with OPEC+ curbs.

“Despite Iraq’s severe financial constraints, we’re addressing technical issues that will allow us to further reduce oil output,” Ali Allawi, who is finance minister, said on Twitter. “We remain committed to the OPEC+ deal, and to doing our part towards ensuring a stable and secure global energy market.” He didn’t provide production figures.

Iraq ‘s total crude oil exports, including from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, fell sharply in May to the lowest in more than four years, but by less than expected given its OPEC + production quota under a global supply accord.

Exports averaged 3.58 million b/d in May, down 8%, or 305,000 b/d, from April, when the latest OPEC + deal had yet to go into force.

Iraq ‘s oil exports in May were the lowest since February 2016, when exports dipped to 3.48 million b/d, according to S&P Global Platts records.

Lax compliance

Under the OPEC + pact, Iraq committed to holding its production to 3.592 million b/d for May and June, which is only 12,000 b/d above the May exports.

Iraq has struggled to comply with its OPEC + quotas of the past three years, citing its desperate need for oil revenue to rebuild after years of war against the Islamic State terrorist group.

The OPEC + coalition is scheduled to meet this month via webinar to review the agreement, which calls for the collective 9.7 million b/d in cuts to be partially rolled back for the second half of the year to 7.7 million b/d. Some members are calling for the 9.7 million b/d cuts to be extended for at least a few months, given the uncertainty of the global economy’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Platts

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