Iraq Seeks More Oil Production Before OPEC Talks in Algeria

Iraq asked international oil companies to boost output just as other OPEC nations are heading for talks amid a global glut.

Newly installed Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi called on companies to increase oil and gas production to boost national revenue, according to an e-mailed statement from the Oil Ministry on Tuesday. Crude output in OPEC’s second-biggest producer peaked this year at 4.51 million barrels a day in January and was down to 4.36 million barrels a day in July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are planning to hold talks in Algeria next month when they gather for a meeting of the International Energy Forum. Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has said only that “there is an opportunity” to discuss “possible action that may be required to stabilize the market,” according to the Saudi Press Agency. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he was open to discussing a freeze.

Iraq hasn’t said if Al-Luaibi will attend the meeting in Algiers.

“We, all, should keep in mind that increasing the oil production and associated gas utilization will not be compromised,” Al-Luaibi said in a Aug. 21 letter to contractors, according to the Iraq Oil Report, an industry publication. “The full field development plans should contain specific and obvious commitments in respect of these two vital issues.”

Al-Luaibi, who was appointed last week, said the nation is seeking investments to boost oil and gas reserves and export capacity. Last year, under his predecessor, Iraq’s oil ministry asked oil companies to reduce their 2016 spending plans, citing lower oil prices and government revenue.