Iraqi minister sees oil at $45 in first quarter of 2021 – newspaper

Iraqi Minister of Oil Ihsan Abdul Jabbar reads documents at the Basra Oil Company in Iraq’s southern port city, on May 9, 2020. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Minister of Oil Ihsan Abduljabbar said oil prices are expected to reach around $45 in the first quarter of 2021, according to al-Sabah newspaper.

Al-Sabah newspaper cited the oil minister as saying that Iraq has also based a draft 2021 federal budget on a projected oil price of $42 per barrel.

Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer of crude, is facing an economic crisis over falling of oil prices and an OPEC+ agreement to cut production by more than one million barrels per day as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

A large portion of Iraq’s budget relies exclusively on oil exports while the oil prices have plummeted amid the global recession due to the pandemic.

The World Bank estimates Iraq’s economy will shrink 9.7% in 2020 on back of lower oil prices and coronavirus, compared to 4.4% growth in 2019.

The Iraqi oil minister further said Iraq would continue to commit to OPEC+ agreement to cut oil output, al-Sabah newspaper reported.

He stressed that Iraq “is looking forward to achieving more cooperation with OPEC member producers to achieve common goals to maintain stability of the price of a barrel of oil in the global market.”

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