Iraq Is Giving OPEC a Headache

21 Nov 2017   Iraq, OPEC

Disruptions to Iraqi output and sales seen persisting to 2018 OPEC has to consider political risk pushing up prices: Yergin OPEC has an Iraq problem: the group’s second-biggest exporter is lurching between quota busting and production-crimping crisis, clouding the policy-making picture as ministers decide how long they need to extend output curbs. After consistently exceeding its output quota all year, Iraqi production plunged in October when clashes between the federal army and fighters from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region disrupted fields in the disputed Kirkuk province. While the conflict has calmed, exports from Iraq’s northern fields remained 40 percent lower in the first half of November than before the fighting, tanker tracking data show. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, due to meet next week in Vienna, is already grappling with volatile production in Nigeria and Libya, and Iraq adds another layer of unpredictability. For policy makers, the short-term disruption […]

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