Iraq's oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani just made it clear at a press conference that Iraq is gunning to knock Saudi Arabia out of the top slot for oil production.
Markets won't to wait too long for this to happen either, and OPEC better not try to stop them:
Hellenic Shipping News: “We can’t find a reason to prevent Iraqi production becoming higher than any other OPEC state or even states outside OPEC. We expect that to happen in the next six to seven years with co-ordination and agreement with other OPEC producers,” he said. Iraq has signed a series of oilfield development deals with global oil firms – which bid on prime fields at two energy auctions last year – in a nation with the world’s third largest crude reserves, emerging from years of conflict and sanctions.
Unlike OPEC’s 11 other members, Baghdad is not subject to the output targets the group uses to set supply levels. OPEC exempted Iraq in the 1990s, when it was under sanctions. “Iraq has been deprived of having a fair export level over the last years, during which we were not able to produce or export oil while other states got benefit from this and were able to export at higher levels,” Shahristani told reporters.
“Opec should put into consideration Iraq’s need for oil revenues to rebuild its economy and country. Iraq has a definite need for these revenues.”