00:57 GMT02 August 2021
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    Iraq's oil exports via its southern terminals reached a record high of over 3.5 million barrels per day in December, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — December's output increase to 3.51 million barrels per day does not interfere with the country's obligations to slash output under the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) November agreement, the ministry said, as quoted by the Iraqi News website.

    The ministry added that the global price spike in the wake of the output cut deal created a comfortable situation for Iraq.

    The production cuts, agreed on in late November by OPEC and finalized in December by several major non-cartel producers, kicked in on January 1. OPEC members promised to abide on a voluntary basis by the production ceiling of 32.5 million barrels per day, which was preliminary agreed in Algiers in September. This is a 1.2-million barrel per day production cut. The collective non-OPEC pledge is a 558,000 barrels per day cut.

    Iraq pledged to cut its production by 200,000 barrels per day to 4.351 million barrels per day in the first six months of 2017. The pledge came despite earlier requests to exempt the country from the deal as its economy had taken a hit from ongoing violence and terrorism.

    The measure, which was under discussion for over a year before implemented, is expected to curtail the glut in global oil supply and bring oil prices to the level of $55-60 per barrel in 2017, compared with 2016 average of $34 per barrel.

    Oil market turbulence caused oil prices to plunge from $115 per barrel in June 2014 to less than $30 per barrel in January 2016, causing hardship for oil exporters. Prices then recovered to over $40 per barrel before rallying to over $55 per barrel after the deal.

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