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Iraq says OPEC, allies will address oil price slump at Vienna meeting

Baghdad — OPEC and its allies will work to stabilize the oil market and reverse the slump in prices when they meet in Vienna in two weeks, Iraq's deputy oil minister said Wednesday.

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"I'm not worried about" the recent drop in prices, Fayadh Nema told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Baghdad. "There is coordination with the ministers regarding this issue."

OPEC and 10 non-OPEC partners, led by Russia, will meet December 6-7 to decide on output policy, with some members, notably Saudi Arabia, suggesting that the coalition may need to cut up to 1.4 million b/d in 2019 to prevent a supply glut.

Prices faltered over recent weeks, however, leading to speculation that the coalition may have to cut deeper, though political pressure from US President Donald Trump, who has tweeted that he wants Saudi Arabia to help keep oil prices low, could complicate the talks.

Iraq has pushed back against having to curtail its operations, citing its recent fight against the Islamic State group and the preceding decades of wars and sanctions that have led to billions of dollars of reconstruction needs. It has, however, been party to all OPEC production agreements and is likely to continue to do so.

Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer, pumped 4.62 million b/d in October, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC production survey. But it has self-reported to OPEC an October production figure of 4.46 million b/d.

"Iraq is working for the stability of the oil markets. Also for the stability of the oil prices," Nema said. "I think that the ministers within and outside OPEC will work to get back the balance to the markets, regarding the oil storage and the consumption, as well as the prices."

-- Newsdesk-Iraq, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Richard Rubin, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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