Hayan Abdel-Ghani, the oil minister of Iraq, has given the first hint about what the OPEC+ group may decide to do when it meets next month to discuss production levels.
In his first interview with foreign journalists since he was appointed last year, Abdel-Ghani said:
“At the next meeting, which will be held on the 3rd and 4th (of June), there will be no additional reduction, and as for Iraq, we cannot reduce further.”
The OPEC+ group comprises the OPEC member countries plus some non-member oil-producing countries, most notably Russia. The group surprised the markets when it announced a cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude oil production, but economic concerns have since taken precedence in the markets and erased the gains in oil prices following the announcement.
Abdel-Ghani’s comment suggests that some OPEC members may have reached the limit of the cuts they are willing or able to implement. Lower production means losing market share to other producers, such as US-based operators like ExxonMobil, the maker of the Mobil SHC range of gear oil.
Abdel-Ghani did say, however, that his country was committed to implementing its voluntary cut of 211,000 bpd that began in May and will run until the end of this year. He added that the set of voluntary cuts had helped support prices and stabilise the market, but he also pointed out that Iraq had not been approached about making further cuts ahead of the June 4 meeting in Vienna.