Uncertainty: Iraq Waiting To Gauge Iran Oil Shortfall Ahead Of OPEC Meet

Iraq’s Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said on Tuesday that the shortfall in oil supply caused by new U.S. sanctions on Iran had yet to be gauged ahead of an OPEC meeting next month. Ghadhban said Iraq wanted to see the “actual decrease” before Baghdad and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decide how to deal with a reduction in Iranian shipments. “I want to wait and see how much is the actual physical decrease in Iranian exports, and whether this would be compensated by not only OPEC producers but by other countries,” he told Reuters in his first interview since taking over the oil portfolio last month. “What will be the physical increase in demand on Iraqi oil ... if there’s no demand, how can I say we’ll compensate?” Ghadhban did not specify what oil price he expected for 2019. He said a price above $70 per barrel was “fair” and that the higher the price, the better it was for Iraq. “I compare it with previous prices ... when we talk about prices above 70 ... I say it’s a fair price, it’s not 30 or 50 and it’s not 100."

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Influence of Iran on Iraq's daily life is still to strong. And, they have political / religious control in some areas...

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Not so strong... Iraq stops Kirkuk oil exports to Iran due to US sanctions; meanwhile, Baghdad and Erbil have reached a new agreement to resume exporting Kirkuk oil via KRG pipelines to Ceyhan port in Turkey

http://www.rudaw.net/english/business/261020181

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Iraq is definitely not a vassal state of Iran. I'm surprised how little their rising outputs over the past decade are not mentioned. I work with someone who immigrated from Iraq. Really sharp young man. One of his parents is Sunni, the other Shia. Remember a lot of problem isn't really religion.

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