Economy

Iraq's Crude Oil Production Is near a 9-Month Low

Iraq's Crude Oil Production Is near a 9-Month Low

The ministers will consult with other oil-producing countries with "the goal of reaching full consensus on the 9-month extension" they are seeking, the statement said.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, had risen $1.20 to $52.04 a barrel by 0847 GMT and traded intraday at $52.26, the highest since April 26.

At the end of November, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) from January 1, initially for a period of six months.

The joint announcement by Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia chimes with a statement Friday by major producers Iraq and Algeria, which argued for extending the cuts through the end of the year.

Brent crude is still about $3 per barrel below where it started the year and about 7 percent below the late February peak.

Global crude oil supply inched down by 140,000 barrels daily last month, to 96.17 million bpd, the International Energy Agency said in the latest edition of its Oil Market Report.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said extending output cuts for a further nine months was the right thing to do: "We support the proposal". Prices on the market will change sharply, should the agreement be reached. Also, U.S. oil production is up more than 10 percent since mid-2016.

"Extending the cuts until March 2018 would take account of the fact that demand in the first quarter of a year is lowest for seasonal reasons", said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank. This is required to stabilize the oil market.

It has been concerned with the increase in U.S. shale gas production, and so increased its oil output to drive down prices in a bid to make shale gas exploration economically unattractive.

"The ministry stressed that the agreement on oil output cuts had a positive impact on oil prices, adding that additional steps to ensure market stability in the long term were still needed as global commercial oil reserves were above their five-year average".

According to Naeem Aslam, the chief analyst at United Kingdom online broker Think Markets, despite the optimism that sent oil prices higher yesterday, traders will eventually shift their focus back to the output deal's actual effect on the supply glut.

"There are no fast solutions to end this situation, and the only solution possible is to let oil prices work their way" to clear the oversupply, Al-Husseini said from the Saudi city of Dhahran.


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