Oil market improving: Falih

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 22, 2017

At the opening of the Baghdad International Fair on Saturday, Saudi minister Khalid al-Falih hailed what he called "the new Iraq, on the ambitious road to prosperity and growth while strengthening its relations with the world".

The secretary general of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Mohammad Barkindo, on October 3 said compliance with the output cut deal by OPEC and non-OPEC nations was "extremely high". OPEC, Russia and other producers have reduced production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of 2017, helping to boost oil prices.

Barkindo earlier this month said he expected all 24 OPEC and non-OPEC nations participating in the global oil output cut deal to take part in OPEC's conference in November. "The best example of the importance of cooperation between our two countries is the improvement and stability trend seen in the oil market", said Falih, to applause from the audience of Iraqi ministers, senior officials and businessmen.

The Saudi participation is the first in 27 years, since the relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia started deteriorating in 1990 when the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

Iraq lies on the fault line between Shi'ite Muslim power Iran and the Sunni-ruled countries that are its regional arch-rivals, chief among them Saudi Arabia.

The Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement Falih and his Iraqi counterpart, Jabar Al Luaibi, agreed to cooperate in implementing decisions by oil exporting countries to curb global supply in order to lift crude prices.

Expect the United States to continue cajoling Saudi-Iraq ties, while promoting unity with secular and Shia factions as they look to strengthen Mr Abadi's position ahead of next year's election.

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