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Iraq says it has enough oil capacity to meet customer needs

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Christian Fernsby |
Thamer Ghadhban
Asia   Thamer Ghadhban

Iraq's oil minister said his country had the capacity to increase its oil production if needed.

Thamer Ghadhban also said there were no acute oil shortages for the time being, but Iraq would continue to monitor the market to assess any need for additional barrels at the next OPEC meeting, due in June.

"We are very keen to secure oil supplies for consumer states and to maintain market stability," oil minister Ghadhban said.

On Monday, the United States decided not to renew exemptions from sanctions against Iran granted last year to buyers of Iranian oil, taking a tougher line than expected and triggering a rally in oil prices on fears of oil supply shortages.

"We have plenty of time to assess the markets' reaction," Ghadhban said at a joint news conference in Baghdad with the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed to cut output by 1.2 million bpd. They will meet on June 25-26 to decide whether to extend the pact.

Thamer Ghadhban said a panel of energy ministers from major oil producers that includes Iraq, known as the JMMC, will meet on May 19 in the Saudi city of Jeddah to assess the "oil market reactions" and make recommendations before the June meeting.

Asked about the effect of U.S. sanctions on markets, Ghadhban said there was "no need for fear and panic".


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