Iraq stalls OPEC plans to trim oil output

Iraq stalled Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s deal to stabilise oil markets after it resisted to join the group's efforts to trim output to prop up crude prices. Iraq should be exempt from cutting production because it’s embroiled in a war with IS extremists, oil minister Jabber Al-Luaibi said Sunday at a news conference in Baghdad. The country currently produces more than 4.7 million barrels a day it pumped in September, and Iraq’s output could rise higher still as the government urges international companies to boost production at its fields, he said. The minister disputed OPEC figures that peg Iraqi output at less than 4.2 million barrels daily. A meeting in Algeria last month of the group’s 14 members stretched to seven hours as Iraq argued over the level of production that should be used as a baseline for setting quotas. OPEC is trying to woo other producers to join in the group’s first output cuts in eight years, a policy shift that members agreed to last month in Algiers. Crude plunged to a 12-year low in January, hammering the budgets of producers from Venezuela to Saudi Arabia. The price slide led OPEC to abandon its two-year-old Saudi-led policy of allowing members to pump as much as they could in an effort to protect market share. (Sam Wilkin, Wael Mahdi and Anthony DiPaola/Bloomberg)

More from Business News