Iraq will ask to rejoin OPEC's quota system for crude output in 2014 as the holder of the world's fifth-largest oil reserves boosts production from an average of 2.9 million barrels a day.
The country aims to increase output to 3.4 million barrels a day next year and 4.5 million barrels a day in 2013, Falah al- Amri, director of the State Oil Marketing Organization, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying today. Iraq is exporting an average of 2.2 million barrels a day this month and earning an average price of $104 a barrel, he said in an interview in the Southern city of Basra.
Iraq, the only member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries exempt from output quotas, is relying on revenue from crude sales to rebuild its economy after years of war and economic sanctions. The government wants to boost production to 12 million barrels a day by 2017, Hossein al-Shahristani, the deputy prime minister for energy affairs and former oil minister, said in July.
OPEC sets production limits for its 11 members other than Iraq to try to ensure output doesn't exceed global demand, though some Persian Gulf Arab states flout their ceilings when crude prices are high. Iraq hasn't taken part in an OPEC quota agreement since 1998.
"We will seek the biggest possible quota," al-Amri said.
His stated target date of 2014 conforms with the group's own forecasts. Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said in 2010 that OPEC would start discussing the matter in "four to five years".
OPEC supplies 40 percent of the world's oil, and Iraq ranks third in the group for production, behind Saudi Arabia and Iran, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Iran's limit, set in December 2008, is about 3.34 million barrels a day.