Baghdad April 21 2022: Iraq is unable to increase oil exports in response to the surge in global oil prices and Russia-related supply disruptions, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Allawi said April 19 during a visit to Washington, exacerbating the ability of OPEC+ to boost its output to compensate for production shortages that have helped lift prices to nearly $140/b.
"It's unlikely that we can export more, but we can certainly substitute for imports of oil byproducts and gas," Allawi, who is also finance minister, said during an Atlantic Council event. Iraq "obviously [is] committed to the OPEC-mandated agreements."
He didn't disclose Iraq's current oil export capacity.
Doubts about Iraq's ability to export more crude, especially from its southern oil terminals, point to difficulties for the country to hit its OPEC+ quota. Iraq pumped 4.34 million b/d in March, up 80,000 b/d from February and slightly under its OPEC production cap of 4.37 million b/d, according to the latest S&P Global Commodity Insights survey.
March output by OPEC's No. 2 producer rose as the country's giant West Qurna 2 field returned from maintenance about two weeks early, while protests disrupted the Nassiriya field for a few days at the start of the month. Sources and satellite data indicated considerable inventory builds.
Iraq is committed to the decisions of OPEC+ members, who are monitoring the oil markets and boosting production according to scheduled increases and market needs, oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad told state-run Iraqi News Agency on April 19.