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Saudi Arabia discusses future crude oil production with Iraq

Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban receives Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih in Baghdad, Nov. 10, 2018. (Photo: Iraqi Oil Ministry)

Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid al-Falih on Saturday discussed future Iraqi crude oil production levels with Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban.

The Saudi Minister arrived in Baghdad in his first visit to Iraq since the formation of the new federal government, headed by Prime Minsiter Adil Abdel Mahdi.

The two ministers discussed cooperation between the two countries and the decision to reduce crude production.

In June 2017, Iraq and Saudi Arabia agreed to establish a coordination council in a bid to improve and strengthen relations between the two neighboring countries.

A statement by the Iraqi Oil Ministry said the Coordination Council between the two countries would put in place appropriate mechanisms to accelerate the realization of economic partnership and activate cooperation and economic integration.

Iraq’s government has previously announced aspirations to boost its oil output and exports in the coming year.

Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Baghdad in 2016 after it had been closed since 1990 following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Falih’s visit to Baghdad came five days after the US renewed sanctions on Iran, targeting energy and financing sectors.

Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, had previously planned to boost its crude production capacity to five million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019.

Iraq currently pumps 4.6 million bpd and exports most oil through its southern ports. Crude leaving Iraq through these ports accounts for more than 95 percent of government revenues.