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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

No oil supply shortage due to Iraq unrest: OPEC

AFP  Brussels, June 24, 2014
First Published: 18:38 IST(24/6/2014) | Last Updated: 18:39 IST(24/6/2014)

The head of OPEC on Tuesday said there was no oil supply shortage due to the crisis in Iraq and that any increase in price on the markets was due to speculative trading.

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"Right now the market is very well supplied," said OPEC Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri, on a visit to Brussels for talks with European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

"There is no shortage on the oil market in any place in the world. Of course there is an uprising in Iraq but this has not affected the production area," El-Badri said.

Global oil prices have risen from around $109 a barrel to nine-month highs of over $114 on the back of the crisis but are nowhere near what analysts predict they could reach if Iraq were to halt exports.

"We are ready for any unseen circumstances. If there is a problem in the market we stand ready to solve this problem," the OPEC chief said.

The price rise seen on the oil markets was "not because of shortage but because of speculation," he added.

Iraq, faced with a massive jihadist offensive that threatens to split the country, is a leading OPEC oil producer at more than three million barrels per day (mbpd) and more than 11 percent of all known oil reserves.

In May, Iraq produced 3.37 mbpd of crude oil according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), mainly from oilfields in the south along with others near the northern city of Kirkuk.

Among OPEC members, Iraq ranks behind Saudi Arabia but ahead of Iran and Kuwait. It has proven crude reserves of 140.3 billion barrels and 3.158 trillion cubic metres of natural gas, according to cartel figures.


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