Iraq Seeks Stable Oil Prices as It Rebuilds, Premier Says

(Bloomberg) — Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, seeks to keep oil prices near current levels to ensure market stability as the country rebuilds, according to new Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani.

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The nation is “keen that oil prices don’t exceed $100 a barrel, nor drop in a way that affects supply and demand,” he told reporters in Baghdad. Global benchmark Brent crude settled at $95.99 a barrel on Friday.

Iraq is trying to boost revenue after decades of turmoil marked by wars, sanctions and militant attacks, according to the premier. Al-Sudani, who took office last month, said Iraq’s production quota in the OPEC+ alliance should be reviewed to take those factors into account. This will be discussed with other members, he added, without providing further details.

OPEC’s production held steady in October after the group pledged a symbolic cutback to stabilize market sentiment. Iraq’s output rose to 4.57 million barrels a day, slightly below its quota amount, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Investment Deals

Iraq plans to boost its oil-output capacity and entice global companies to work in the country, according to Al-Sudani. The government will honor all agreements that its predecessors have signed with international oil companies, including a $27 billion package of deals with TotalEnergies SE to increase oil and gas output and reduce power outages.

“The new oil minister is reviewing the deal and the first reading of it is positive,” he said. “One of these projects will supply us with gas representing 60% of gas imports from Iran.”

Iraq plans to continue receiving gas supplies from Iran, as the two nations are closely linked by a pipeline network.

Al-Sudani’s government intends to submit its 2023 federal budget to parliament for a vote within a month. Iraq will also continue to work as a mediator to ease tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“The relevant parties informed us officially that they support the continuation of this role, and we are moving forward with this,” he said.

(Updates with details thoughout.)

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