OPEC gears itself for Iraqi oil exports

OPEC will pressure independent exporters to back its next supply cut to ensure that the resumption of Iraqi exports does not trigger a slump in world oil prices, the organisation’s president said.

    Al-Attiyah: OPEC prepares
    itself for Iraqi oil in market

    The organisation’s President Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah on Sunday said major non-aligned producers Mexico, Russia and Norway would be called on to help OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) defend its $25 a barrel price target.


    "Yes. We require their support ... I feel we have their support," al-Attiyah, who is also oil minister of Qatar, told reporters ahead of the 11 June meeting in Doha.


    It was necessary for OPEC to be careful about the balance between demand and supply, he added.


    With oil prices at the top end of OPEC’s $22-$28 preferred price range, ministers from member-countries have said there was no need for any immediate cut in its 25.4 million barrel per day (bpd) output limit.


    But the organisation is preparing the ground should it need to reduce supply later this year by making sure non-OPEC countries are aware it requires their cooperation.


    Non-members to attend


    OPEC has not needed to reduce production limits since late 2001, when it slashed supplies on the condition that independent producers contribute. They resisted until prices slumped and then fell in line.


    Russia, Mexico, Syria, Oman, Egypt and Angola among non-OPEC members will be represented officially in Doha for the first time at an extraordinary OPEC meeting.


    Iraq will not send a delegation. Al-Attiyah acknowledged there had been no contact between OPEC headquarters and Baghdad since the US occupation, but urged

    Iraq to get in touch.


    "I did not receive any request from Iraq, but personally I'd be happy to talk to them," he said, adding he hoped Baghdad would make OPEC's next scheduled meeting in September.


    Under the occupation of United States-led forces, Baghdad is preparing to resume international oil sales in about a week's time.



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