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Iraq Aims to Join OPEC Quota System in 2014

Source: Bloomberg 10/26/2011, Location: Middle East

Iraq will ask to rejoin OPEC’s quota system for crude output in 2014 as the holder of the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves boosts production from an average of 2.9 million barrels a day. The country aims to increase output to 3.4 million barrels a day next year and 4.5 million barrels a day in 2013, Falah al- Amri, director of the State Oil Marketing Organization, said. Iraq is exporting an average of 2.2 million barrels a day this month and earning an average price of $104 a barrel, he said in an interview in the southern city of Basra.

Iraq, the only member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries exempt from output quotas, is relying on revenue from crude sales to rebuild its economy after years of war and economic sanctions. The government wants to boost production to 12 million barrels a day by 2017, Hussain al-Shahristani, the deputy prime minister for energy affairs and former oil minister, said in July.

“Iraq will effectively be taking other countries’ market share” when it re-enters the OPEC system, Samuel Ciszuk, an energy analyst at IHS Global Insight, said by telephone from London. “It will become a source of tension for the group, especially given the very low level of trust that exists there now.”

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