Crude oil exports from Iraq’s southern terminals in the Persian Gulf are poised to accelerate even as fighting plunges the country’s north into chaos and Islamist militias encroach on towns near Baghdad.
OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s crude, kept its production target unchanged in a widely anticipated move that left the group’s output below forecast demand for the rest of the year.
Iraq’s proposed energy law, intended to spur foreign investment in the world’s fifth-largest holder of oil deposits, will be delayed for the rest of this year due to political divisions, the prime minister’s top adviser said.
Saudi Arabia boosted crude exports by 3.5 percent in February to the highest in five months, while Iran’s shipments gained and Iraq sold the most oil for at least 12 years, the Joint Organisations Data Initiative said.
Eni SpA is among international companies interested in bidding to develop natural-gas fields in Iraq, while China National Petroleum Corp. and others reported progress producing oil there, officials and executives said.
Iraq, the second-largest producer in OPEC, won’t reach its target of pumping 4.5 million barrels of oil a day by next year and plans to announce revised production goals in April, senior government officials said.