Iraqi oil exports still secure, says minister

barrel-barekim flickrAnalysts say Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, will have to increase production in the second half of the year to balance the market. (Image source: Barekim/Flickr)Iraq’s southern oil export facilities and its only export outlet are secure with shipments currently running at around 2.6mn bpd, oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi has

The announcement came after an al-Qaeda splinter group seized control of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday fighting the Shi'ite-led Baghdad government, Reuters reported.

“All our exports now are from the Basra terminal in the south — and it’s a very, very safe area,” Luaibi told reporters ahead of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting at Vienna in Austria.

Luaibi added that there was better chance of agreement between the central government and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq due to the current situation in Mosul.

Meanwhile, the militants advanced into the oil refinery town of Baiji, according to security sources. Baiji refinery is Iraq’s biggest, supplying oil products to most of the country’s provinces.

In Vienna, the OPEC meeting convened under the chairmanship of its president Omar Ali ElShakmak, acting minister of oil and gas in Libya.

The conference reviewed recent oil market developments and world economic growth, in particular supply and demand projections for the second half of the year, as well as the outlook for 2015, noting that the relative steadiness of prices during 2014 to date is an indication that the market is adequately supplied, with the periodic price fluctuations being more a reflection of geopolitical tensions than a response to fundamentals.

The conference noted that whilst world oil demand is expected to rise from 90mn bpd in 2013 to 91.1mn bpd in 2014, non-OPEC supply is projected to grow by 1.4mn bpd. The meet also decided that that member countries should adhere to the existing production level of 30mn bpd.

The next OPEC meeting will convene in Vienna on 27 November 2014.


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