By Ahmed Aboulenein
CAIRO, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Iraq’s Oil Ministry on Thursday denied a press article claiming that the chief of the ministry, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, said an agreement with OPEC + to increase exports of oil from the country was imminent. country.
The state news agency INA reported that Abdul Jabbar told the state daily al-Sabah that he hoped to reach an agreement soon with OPEC and its allies – a group known as OPEC + – on increasing Iraqi crude exports.
“The Oil Minister did not make such statements and did not meet with the newspaper’s journalist,” Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told Reuters. Subsequently, INA removed the note.
“Iraq is committed to the OPEC + agreement and is working with both OPEC and non-OPEC producers to address the challenges facing global oil markets, including the spread of COVID-19 that caused a decline in global oil demand,” Jihad said.
Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, has failed in the past to fully comply with agreed reductions, pumping out a larger volume than promised since the pact was first signed in 2016 between OPEC and its Russian-led allies. .
The reduction in exports resulting from the pact has strained Iraq’s finances, upsetting a government struggling with the consequences of years of war and rampant corruption. The nation depends on oil to finance 97% of its state budget.
Iraq’s total exports averaged 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, up from 2,763 bpd in July.
(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; additional reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek; Edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)