Dubai — Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region must reduce its output in line with the OPEC+ pact, which includes a 1.061 million b/d cut for OPEC's second-largest oil producer in May and June, the country's oil minister said on Tuesday.
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"A [Kurdish] technical delegation will sit with representatives from the oil ministry Thursday to discuss how to implement the reduction," Thamer al-Ghadhban told state-run TV on Tuesday.
Kurdistan is exporting around 500,000 b/d, accounting for most of its production, al-Ghadhban added.
The Kurdish region in northern Iraq markets and sells its own oil while the federal government in Baghdad markets its oil through marketer SOMO.
The two governments in Erbil and Baghdad have often clashed over the sale of oil and distribution of oil revenue.
The 23-country OPEC+ alliance agreed on Sunday to rein in 9.7 million b/d of crude oil production for May and June. The collective OPEC+ cuts will ramp down to 7.7 million b/d for the second half of 2020, then to 5.8 million b/d for all of 2021 through April 2022.
Iraq's total March crude exports, including those from the Kurdish region, were 3.88 million b/d, little changed from 3.874 million b/d in February, according to official data.
The March total consisted of 3.39 million b/d of federal exports and 490,000 b/d of oil from the Kurdish region, compared with 3.391 million b/d and 482,000 b/d respectively for February.
Iraq pumped 4.65 million b/d in March, above its 4.46 million b/d quota under the previous OPEC+ agreement that expired last month, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey.
Iraq, which imports Iranian gas for power generation as well as electricity, also expects the US to extend a waiver and allow Baghdad to continue to use gas from Tehran to avert electricity shortages in the country, Ghadhban said.
"I do not expect that the waiver will end," Ghadhban said, adding that the US understands Iraq's situation.
Electricity shortages, particularly in the summer months in the south where temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius, have in the past led to protests.
The Iraqi oil ministry needs Iranian gas despite signing a number of agreements to treat associated gas because these projects will take at least two to three years to be implemented, he said.
In March, the US extended a waiver allowing Iraq to import Iranian electricity and natural gas despite US sanctions, Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokeswoman, said, without specifying the duration of the waiver.
The March extension will be the seventh waiver the US has issued for Iraq since US sanctions on Iran energy exports snapped back in November 2018. After an initial 45-day waiver, the State Department issued two 90-day waivers in a row followed by two 120-day waivers in a row in June and then October. It most recently issued a 45-day waiver in February.