By John Lee.
During a visit to the West Qurna II oilfield in Basra, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reiterated his government's commitment to ensuring the security of the southern oilfields and their workers.
He met with senior management of the Russian operator Lukoil, following protests by locals demanding jobs.
A Lukoil official told Reuters that operations were continuing as normal at West Qurna-2 with a steady output of 450,000 bpd, but said production might be disrupted if the situation was not resolved, while a senior official at the South Oil Company (SOC) said, "despite Lukoil's ongoing initiatives to hire more labourers from nearby areas, things have got out of control."
Al-Abadi promised, "we will use all our capabilities to stop them and [maintain] oil production."
(Sources: Office of the Prime Minister, Reuters)