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Iraq Oil Minister sees improvement in oil prices early next year

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Iraq's Oil Minister Thamir Abbas Al Ghadhban talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Iraq’s oil minister said on Sunday he expects “an improvement” in oil prices at the beginning of next year, after the implementation of the OPEC and non-OPEC decision to curb production made earlier this month.

“We are optimistic that the current fall in prices will stop because there is no more oversupply in the market,” said Thamir Ghadhban at a meeting of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries in Kuwait.

Qatar’s energy minister said it was a difficult period for oil prices.

OPEC hasn’t even started implementing its new six-month agreement to cut output, and already members responsible for most of the reductions have pledged to extend or even deepen it.

Officials from Iraq, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates agreed with Saudi Arabia’s expectation that the group, along with Russia and other oil producers, will extend the agreement for another six months.

“I think in terms of all the OPEC countries, to me the one that stands out over the last six to eight months is Iraq,” Michael Cohen, head of energy markets research at Barclays bank, said.

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