27 Decemberr 2012, Sweetcrude, LONDON – Iraqi oil minister says the country’s crude production has surpassed 3.2 million barrels per day so far this month, with hopes it will hit 4 million barrels per day, bpd, capacity in 2014.
Abdul Kareem Luaibi told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, OAPEC: “Next year we’re planning production close to 3.7 (million bpd),” according to Reuters.
Iraq, rebuilding its energy industry after decades of war and sanctions, has emerged as the second biggest producer in the OAPEC, leading to rivalry with top producer Saudi Arabia.
The two countries have backed different candidates to succeed Libya’s Abdullah Badri as OPEC secretary general Reuters reported. His term was extended until the end of next year.
“There will be another debate in the first months of the new year… (the decision) should be by the end of May 2013,” the news agency quoted Luaibi as saying.
Saudi Arabia has also pressed for Iraq to join any future rounds of supply curbs that Opec makes to support prices if energy markets weaken.
Baghdad has resisted this, insisting it should first regain the 4 million bpd output capacity it lost during the 1980-88 war with Iran, a decade of harsh sanctions in the 1990s and civil war since 2003.
“We haven’t reached the quota that was set over 40 years ago. We haven’t reached it yet,” Luaibi said.
“The issue of quotas will for sure need to be reviewed based on many indicators such as production capacities and reserves and others. It is known that Iraq was deprived for many years because of the wars.”