Iraq Balks at Joining OPEC Cuts, Making Output Deal Harder

Country says it pumped 4.7 million barrels a day in September
OPEC cuts shouldn’t be at Iraq’s expense: Minister Al-Luaibi

Iraq threw an obstacle in OPEC’s path toward a final deal to stabilize oil markets when it balked at joining efforts to trim output to prop up crude prices.

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The group’s second-largest producer should be exempted from cutting production because it’s embroiled in a war with Islamic militants, Oil Minister Jabber Al-Luaibi said Sunday at a news conference in Baghdad. Iraq currently produces more than the 4.7 million barrels a day it pumped in September, and output could rise still higher as the government urges international companies to boost production at its fields, he said. The minister disputed Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries figures that peg Iraqi output at less than 4.2 million barrels daily.

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