2018-08-06 16:20:00

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said oil prices are approaching stability, the al-Sabah state newspaper reported on Monday.

Iraq plans to raise oil production to more than 7.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2023-2024, including 6 million bpd of oil for exports and 1.5 million bpd for domestic consumption, Luaibi said.

On June 22-23, OPEC, Russia and other producers agreed to raise output from July by returning to 100 percent compliance with previously agreed output cuts, after months of underproduction by OPEC countries including Venezuela.

Luaibi said the country’s refining capacity now stood at around 670,000 barrels per day with local consumption reaching to 1.2 million bpd.

“We plug the gap by importing fuel which costs us over $2 billion a year,” Luaibi was quoted by al-Sabah as saying.

The Oil Ministry plans to resume partial operations at the country’s largest refinery of Baiji with a capacity of 70,000 barrels per day of oil, Luaibi said.

Oil Ministry’s crews are carrying out repairs at Baiji Refinery aimed at resuming operations soon at a second sub-refinery to add an additional capacity of 70,000 bpd, he said.

Baiji maintenance and repair works have cost Iraq around $500 million so far, Luaibi said.

Iraqi forces recaptured Baiji from Islamic State militants in 2015, but the area sustained heavy damage in the fighting. The country now relies on the Doura refinery in Baghdad its and Shuaiba plant in the south.