Iraq significantly reduced oil output in January, according to industry sources and export data on Wednesday, but has yet to reach levels expected by OPEC from its second largest producer.
A Reuters survey on Tuesday found Iraq lowered output by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared with December – almost all the 210,000 bpd reduction it was supposed to make under the deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The finding that output fell at all was a surprise to some in the market. Baghdad’s initial request to be exempt from the OPEC agreement, plus loading programs pointing to continued high Iraqi exports, had led to scepticism it would cut.
But Iraqi officials have been stressing that reductions – both in production and exports – would be made.
“We’re not having any technical difficulties with this,” Iraq’s oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi told Reuters in an interview in London last week, referring to implementation of the cut.
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