Shahristani: Iraq will Stay in OPEC

A01113073.jpg Iraq’s Oil Minister Husayn al-Shahristani said the federal government will set production numbers, which will ensure it stays compliant with OPEC. Iraq does not have to comply with quotas set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries for its members, because of internal strife.

Shahristani said when Iraq has fixed its faltering oil sector and is ready to boost production, it will then receive a new OPEC quota.

“We insist on continuing our membership in OPEC, backing and developing the organization, especially as well we’re one of its founders,” Shahristani said.

He said a future oil law, which is stuck in political squabbling, will keep production limits in the federal government’s hands, instead of allowing regional or local governments or private companies decide.

“This is a sovereignty issue, which cannot be debated and does not clash or intersect with our membership in (OPEC),” he said.

“We need to work and strive for now and in the future to develop our production, which has receded as a result of the war, the (UN) sanctions, receding investments and old machinery, etc., to around one-third of our OPEC quota.”

Iraq currently produces about 2 million barrels a day. Sales of oil brought in a little more than $3 billion per month last year, funding 93 percent of the federal budget.

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