Iraq won’t negotiate with OPEC+ its overproduction cut share: oil minister

An Iraqi national flag flies in front of excess gas as its being burnt off in the newly opened section of an oil refinery in the Zubair oil field southwest of Basra in southern Iraq on March 3, 2016. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Minister of Oil Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said on Saturday that Baghdad would not negotiate with OPEC+ its overproduction cut share, according to Reuters.

Reuters cited Abdul Jabbar as saying in a statement that Iraq has no intention to negotiate with OPEC+ members regarding its oil production share or compensation of overproduction.

The Iraqi oil minister affirmed Iraq’s commitment to the OPEC+ reduction decision, Reuters reported.

OPEC+ cut supply by a record 9.7 million bpd last year and is pumping an extra 500,000 bpd in January under a plan to unwind the curbs gradually. Most producers will hold steady in February and Saudi Arabia is cutting output by 1 million bpd next month and March.

During an interview with Iraq’s Sharqiya TV on Friday, Abdul Jabbar said he had asked OPEC members in the past meetings to allow Iraq to postpone compensating for earlier overproduction and this had helped to “bring back to Iraq’s economy”.

On Thursday, he told state Tv in an interview that Baghdad was in “heavy talks” with OPEC and allied oil producers to allow Iraq to postpone the compensation.

“OPEC members and allies were understanding to Iraq’s situation and its financial crisis,” said the oil minister.

He added that requesting delaying compensation of overproduction did not mean Iraq would evade complying with its commitment to OPEC+ cut deal and would abide by cutting its production to preserve market stability.

He also said non-commitment of the Kurdistan Region to its share of the production cut was the main reason of reaching a recent low compliance of 79% of pledged cuts under the OPEC+ deal.

“We reached an initial agreement with Kurdish region to cut their production by 20 percent or around 80,000 barrels per day but they didn’t commit and kept production at 430,000 barrels,” said oil minister.

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