OPEC secretary-general says Iraq oil production unaffected by regional instability

He noted that he was optimistic that Iraq, which has lagged on its OPEC productions cuts, would reach full compliance in time

Barkindo, OPEC, Donald trump, Soleimani
FRANCOIS GUILLOTAFPGetty Images

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said that Iraq's oil production is secure and it should be able to reach compliance with the production cuts set by the organisation in December 2019, despite recent geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran.

US President Donald Trump launched an attack that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, with Iran retaliating through an attack on US bases in Iraq.

"The facilities are secure in Iraq, and their production is continued, unaffected," Barkindo said during a forum in Abu Dhabi, when asked if Iraq and Nigeria could reach full compliance. A recent survey by Reuters found that in December, output from Nigeria dipped 80,000 barrels per day, and Iraq cut supply by 50,000bpd, putting Iraq's compliance at 59%, up from 23% in November.

"We are optimistic that, in the course of time, [Nigeria and Iraq] will be able to reach 100% [compliance]," he continued.

"What we are working on now is how we can assist all countries to raise their level of conformity to 100% so we can continue to give comfort to the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] that they will be able to play this noble role that they are playing," Barkindo added.

Saudi Arabia agreed to the new OPEC+ deal on the condition that Iraq and Nigeria comply with their portion of the cuts. The kingdom has made additional cuts from its own production, acting as a swing producer.

Barkindo also sent a message to Trump, noting that OPEC could not be solely responsible for maintaining a stable oil market.

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