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Iraq denies it was seeking exemption from OPEC+ oil cuts: ministry

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 Iraq said on Wednesday it remained fully committed to the OPEC+ oil supply cut agreement, denying earlier media report that it was seeking an exemption from the reduction pact during the first quarter of 2021, Iraq’s oil ministry spokesman said. 


“The Ministry of Oil would like to categorically deny this baseless statement, and affirm that, to the contrary, Iraq remains fully committed to the April OPEC+ Declaration of Cooperation, and the compensation mechanism agreed to in June,” the spokesman said in a statement. 


Iraq’s compliance with the current oil cuts was above 100% in August, and the Arab OPEC oil producer “will continue to perform at this elevated level, while compensating in August and September for the previous overproduction of 850,000 barrels per day”, according to the OPEC+ agreement, the spokesman said. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar was quoted as saying that he has spoken about the exemption to key OPEC oil ministers in three separate meetings, according to a local newspaper in comments reported by state news agency INA. 


The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, are currently cutting output by 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) until December to support prices as the coronavirus crisis hammers demand. 


Abdul Jabbar said last month that Iraq would cut its oil production by an additional 400,000 bpd in both August and September to compensate for its overproduction in the three previous months. 

On Wednesday, the Iraqi oil ministry spokesman said that if the full compensation volumes cannot be made by the end of September, Iraq will ask “for an extension of the compensation period to the end of November.” 


A key OPEC+ ministerial panel, known as the JMMC, which monitors compliance with the cuts and advises the OPEC+ group, meets next on Sept. 17.

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