Iraq, Algeria support extension of oil production cuts
BAGHDAD — Iraq and Algeria support the extension of oil production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC producers through the end of the year to try to boost prices, they said in a joint statement Thursday.
The oil ministers of the two countries held a press conference in Baghdad where Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said “there might be new ideas to be presented” at an OPEC meeting on May 25, without providing further details.
In late November, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day, the first such reduction agreement since 2008. The following month, 11 non-OPEC oil-producing countries pledged to cut an additional 558,000 barrels a day, reaching an overall reduction of 1.8 million.
In March, OPEC announced the possibility that such cuts would be extended.
Iraq — OPEC’s second-largest producer and a country that relies on oil revenues for nearly 95 percent of its budget — committed to reduce daily production by 210,000 barrels to 4.351 million.
News of a possible extension of the OPEC cuts and reports that U.S. crude stockpiles have dropped by 5.2 million barrels last week slightly boosted worldwide oil prices.
Crude oil sold for over $100 a barrel in the summer of 2014, before bottoming out below $30 a barrel in January 2016. Brent Crude, used to price international oils, now trades at around $50 a barrel in London.