Iraq's Oil Surge Could Threaten the Saudis

OPEC’s No. 2 producer is pumping oil as fast as it can
Oil tankers are anchored at Basra harbor, south of Baghdad Photograph by Essam Al-Sudani/AFP via Getty Images

Though there was no major dissension at OPEC’s Dec. 12 meeting in Vienna, there were signs that Saudi Arabia and Iraq are headed for a face-off over how much oil to pump. Before the start of the meeting, Abdul Kareem Al-Luaibi, Iraq’s oil minister, told reporters that his country plans to produce as much oil next year as it did when Saddam Hussein came to power more than three decades ago—a substantial increase over its 2012 output. Saudi Arabia, in contrast, has started to cut production to limit the risk of a price decline in 2013.

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