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Iraqi oil output steady at 4.46 mil b/d, in line with OPEC quota: ministry

Iraq’s crude production is steady at 4.46 million b/d in line with its OPEC quota and has not been affected by recent events in OPEC’s second largest oil producer, an oil ministry spokesperson said Thursday.

Exports are averaging 3.45 million b/d, Assem Jihad said in a statement.

Iraq scaled back its production to a nine-month low of 4.58 million b/d in December, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey. The production, though, was still above Iraq’s old quota of 4.51 million b/d under the previous agreement between OPEC and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+. Iraq will need to cut an additional 120,000 b/d to meet its new target of 4.46 million b/d.

Iraq flouted its quota for most of 2019, but has pledged to comply better with the new OPEC+ agreement, which has deepened cuts to 1.7 million b/d starting January 1 from last year’s 1.2 million b/d.

Jihad “emphasized that Iraq is committed to the oil production agreement approved by OPEC and its allies outside the group.”

He added that production and exports had not been affected by recent events in Iraq, where the US’ killing of a top Iranian commander in Baghdad last week prompted Iran to retaliate with strikes on Iraqi bases hosting US troops on Wednesday.

Separately, the oil ministry denied media reports that said a number of workers with China’s CNPC working on the giant West Qurna 1 oil field had left the country. Exxon Mobil had withdrawn its US staff working on West Qurna 1 in response to the US government’s request due to safety concerns. Chevron is also temporarily evacuating its expatriate staff and contractors in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq but said its local staff are continuing to work there.
Source: Platts

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