OPEC+ to Consider Deeper Output Cuts, Iraq Oil Minister Says

TBILISI(BPI)- Iraq said that OPEC and its allies will consider deeper production cuts, though the comments come after the coalition has widely signaled reluctance to take such action.

The reduction could be about 400,000 barrels a day, Iraq’s oil minister Thamir Ghadhban told reporters in Baghdad on Sunday, adding that Iraq complied with its commitment to lowering output in November. “This figure has been discussed and reached between OPEC ministers as a result of careful studies.”

“There are viewpoints for OPEC+ to do further cuts, but not as big as 1.2 million barrels a day,” Ghadhban said. “Such cuts will lead to market stability, maintain shipments to consumers.”

In recent weeks, OPEC’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo has publicly expressed optimism on the oil market, talking of “brighter spots for the 2020 outlook” and arguing that any weakness early in the year will be fleeting.

Crude prices have remained around $60  a barrel for most of this year, despite supply disruptions such as the crippling attacks on Saudi Arabia’s energy infrastructure in September and Russia’s contaminated crude crisis. Banks have warned that oil could slump below $50  a barrel without deeper production cutbacks.

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