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    Freezing Oil Production Insufficient to Raise Prices - Iraqi Ministry

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    Baghdad sees the freezing of oil production at the January level "a step in the right direction", however, it is not enough.

    CAIRO (Sputnik) – Iraq welcomes the freezing of oil production at the January level, but simply freezing extraction is insufficient, Iraqi Petroleum Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    Earlier this month, the energy ministers of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar met in Doha, where they agreed to keep their average monthly oil output throughout 2016 at January levels if other major oil producers followed suit. According to Venezuela's minister, the agreement was later supported by Ecuador, Algeria, Nigeria, Oman and Kuwait.

    “Iraq welcomes the freezing of oil production on the level of January, this is a step in the right direction, but not enough,” Jihad said.

    He said that production needed to be decreased to a logical level with fair shares for oil-producing companies in order to raise oil prices to a logical level.

    “Steps are needed to lower production because freezing alone will not influence oil prices,” Jihad added.

    Global oil prices plunged from $115 to less than $30 per barrel between June 2014 and January 2016, hitting below-$30 levels for the first time since 2003, mostly because of prolonged global oversupply and weak demand.

    On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia expressed hope that more countries would agree to the oil production freeze.


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