Iraqi Could Head OPEC

Iraq has named Thamer Ghadhban as its candidate for the position of head of OPEC, and some analysts believe he could be an acceptable compromise candidate.

Based on current differences, "I don’t believe it can be an Iranian or a Saudi," said Neil Atkinson, an energy analysis director at UK research firm Datamonitor, who notes that the decision must be unanimous.

He added, "the Iraqi could be an acceptable candidate. OPEC has come up with a compromise candidate before."

The fact that the Iranians and Saudis are both vying for the job "could create frictions," said an OPEC delegate from an African country. For that reason, the delegate said it was likely the group would pick either the Iraqi or the Ecuadorian. “We will choose a neutral candidate,” he said.

Iraq is gradually shifting towards a more high-profile role within the group. The country is currently still exempt from the OPEC quota system, although Iraq’s reinstatement is seen as more imminent than it was previously.

Iraq’s approach is two-pronged. It wants an Iraqi official installed in high office in the group, and has suggested that it will be willing to submit to output-restraint disciplines.

(Source: Gulf Times)

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