Iraq nears oil output capacity, committed to OPEC cuts

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi. (Reuters)
Updated 14 January 2018
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Iraq nears oil output capacity, committed to OPEC cuts

ABU DHABI: Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi said on Saturday that the OPEC member’s oil output capacity is nearing 5 million barrels per day, but the country will remain in full compliance with its output target under a global pact to cut supplies.
Al-Luaibi said the supply cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers should continue despite a rise in oil prices.
“The market now is not 100 percent stable,” he said at an industry conference in Abu Dhabi, adding that current oil prices could be sustained, but there might be some fluctuations.
For the week, Brent crude rose 3.3 percent, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude jumped 4.7 percent, having hit its strongest since late 2014 at $64.77 on Thursday.
The deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia to cut 1.8 million barrels per day of crude, which started in January 2017, is due to last until the end of 2018.
Al-Luaibi said Iraq’s current oil production is about 4.3 million barrels per day.
Despite the increase in oil production from the US, “so far there is a balance” in the oil market, Al-Luaibi said.
“We are watching the market and the market is okay in terms of supply and demand balance. There’s still a gap, inventories are still high. The inventory level will decrease gradually and we will see how things will go,” he told reporters.
Al-Luaibi also said that his ministry plans to conclude three contracts with international gas companies by mid-2018 to utilize gas from Basra, Maysan and Nassiriyah southern provinces.
He said that by 2021, the country plans to “reach zero gas flaring.”
Iraq is forced to flare some of the gas produced alongside crude oil as it lacks the facilities needed to capture and process it into usable fuel.
The country has just one gas processing company, the Basrah Gas Company, a joint venture between Iraq’s state-run South Gas Co., Shell and Mitsubishi.
OPEC’s second-largest crude producer after Saudi Arabia, Iraq is seeking to increase its oil and gas income, which account for nearly all its public budget.


Oman signs exploration agreements with Occidental Petroleum

Updated 16 December 2018
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Oman signs exploration agreements with Occidental Petroleum

  • Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhi signed the agreement covering concession 51 with Occidental Oman

DUBAI: Oman signed on Sunday two agreements giving a unit of Occidental Petroleum the rights to explore for oil and natural gas in concessions 51 and 65, the oil ministry of the sultanate said in a tweet.
Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhi signed the agreement covering concession 51 with Occidental Oman and the agreement on concession 65 with Occidental Oman and Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production, a unit of state-owned Oman Oil Co, the tweet said.
Concession 51 covers 10,133 square kilometers (3,912.37 square miles) and concession 65 covers 1,230 square kilometers (474.91 square miles), Omani state TV said in a report.
The agreement provides for Occidental to spend $14 million on exploration operations in concession 51 in the initial three-year phase of the contract, Salman Al-Shehhi, the oil ministry’s director of investment, told state TV.
Oman’s oil output is about 995,000 barrels per day. The sultanate is not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries but it took part in an agreement reached by OPEC and other exporters earlier this month to reduce global supply in order to bolster oil prices.