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16

OPEC bulletin 5–7/17

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M e e t i n g o f t h e C o n f e r e n c e

C o n f e r e n c e N o t e s

Jabbar Ali Hussein Al-Luiebi

Iraq’s Minister of Oil

J

abbar Ali Hussein Al-Luiebi, Iraq’s Minister of Oil, finds

the OPEC and non-OPEC talks very exciting, useful and

successful. “On top of everything, they are very success-

ful. There are very fruitful discussions with mutual under-

standing,” he proclaimed. “We have exchanged ideas

between us and reached good resolutions, the main one

being the extension of the [voluntary production adjust-

ments] for a period of another nine months.”

He predicts that OPEC and non-OPEC talks will wit-

ness increasing levels of understanding, and that even

deeper discussions may ensue. “I think during the last

five months since last November’s Conference, non-OPEC

countries have collaborated greatly with OPEC countries,

and conformity is high,” he said. “There are a lot of ideas

being exchanged, and I hope that this will continue to be

strengthened even more.”

Meanwhile, he stated that Iraq is in full agreement

with OPEC and strongly supports its resolutions, adding

it will play any role necessary with the other countries in

the extension [of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’]. “Iraq

is committed to conformity and complying with OPEC res-

olutions,” he said. “We have control over our exports and

we are in line with OPEC.”

Future plans

Looking to the future, he explained that planned projects

are going ahead as scheduled and that the country is wit-

nessing prosperity in all energy sectors, including oil and

gas. “We are focusing more on upstream for the coming

years, but now we are paying more attention to gas utili-

zation because we have about 3,000 standard cubic feet

of associated gas, about 45 per cent of it being utilized,

whereas 55 per cent is being burned. Thus, we are on a

fast track to use gas because gas is clean energy, and

there is a lot of revenue from gas because it has conden-

sate and associated liquids, which will have a significant

impact on our revenues.”

Some sections of Iraq’s refineries have been hit by

militants, he said, adding that the country’s largest refin-

ery in Baiji was completely wrecked. Now there is a fast-

track plan to rehabilitate it, while four other refineries

have been tendered on an investment basis this year.

“We are moving very fast on the refinery sector, as well

as on the upstream and gas sectors.”

The country continues to face numerous challenges,

he noted, including political instability and security

issues. Nevertheless, he expressed hope that stability

would soon return. Additionally, he noted that Iraq was

recently able to avoid the danger of a complete financial

collapse during 2016. Fortunately the country passed this

phase successfully, he said, “and now we are in the pro-

cess of rebuilding our country — economically, socially

and in other aspects.”