OPEC focusing on steady crude supply, not prices, Iraq’s oil minister says

Khalid Al-Ansary, Kadhim Ajrash and Anthony Di Paola November 11, 2021

(Bloomberg) - OPEC+ is focused on ensuring a steady supply of crude to global markets and isn’t targeting a specific price, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said Thursday.

The producer group aims to add all of the 400,000 barrels a day it has targeted for each month, and will review the pace of production hikes in the first quarter, the minister said at a press briefing in Baghdad.

Jabbar’s comments come amid concern that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are falling short of their pledged monthly increases, with several countries such as Angola and Nigeria struggling to meet targets. Consumer nations including the U.S. and India have called on the group to pump more to cool prices that have climbed almost 60% this year.

“OPEC policy is not about lowering or raising prices,” Jabbar told reporters. “Rather it’s about achieving stability in energy supplies. OPEC’s objective is to prevent prices from collapsing. There is no target to reach a certain price.”

OPEC+ is restoring production halted last year when the coronavirus crisis wiped out demand. Yet the alliance has been returning supplies only gradually, arguing that prudence is still merited as risks to global consumption remain.

Iraq aims to export 3.2 million barrels of crude a day in November from fields controlled by the central government. That will rise to 3.4 million a day in the first quarter as OPEC+ continues to roll back supply curbs, Jabbar said.

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