IRAQ REDUCES OIL
BLOOMBERG - Iraq said most international oil companies working in the country, along with the nation's semi-autonomous Kurds, have agreed to cut crude output to fulfill an OPEC accord.
Iraq is fully committed to delivering on OPEC's Nov. 30 agreement to reduce supplies, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said Thursday in Cairo at a meeting of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, known as OAPEC.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resolved on Nov. 30 to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels a day in an effort to end a three-year supply glut and buoy prices. The plan was widened on Dec. 10 when 11 non-members including Russia and Kazakhstan promised to join in the cuts.
Iraq, OPEC's second-biggest producer after Saudi Arabia, pledged to trim output by 210,000 barrels a day, or 4.5 percent of its total production. The country initially resisted the plan to reduce supply, saying it deserved to be exempt while battling Islamic State militants and reviving its oil industry after years of conflict and sanctions.
Separately, Iraq's oil-rich Kirkuk province, under the protection of the Kurds since 2014, said it's willing to reduce crude production if required.
The northern province is prepared to reduce output if the decrease is "proportional" with the country's other regions, Ahmed Al-Askari, head of Kirkuk province's oil, energy and industry committee, said by phone. It hasn't yet received an official request to cut production. The state-run North Oil Co. pumps about 160,000 to 170,000 barrels a day from the region, home to Iraq's oldest producing wells.
The Kurdistan Regional Government, which accounts for about 12 percent of the nation's output, said on Dec. 5 it didn't expect to make significant output cutbacks to fulfill the OPEC accord.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.