Iraq’s Kirkuk Province Ready to Cut Oil Output Amid OPEC Deal

  • Province prepared to make a cut proportional to other regions
  • North Oil Co. pumps 160,000-170,000 barrels a day from region

Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk province, under the protection of the nation’s Kurds since 2014, said it’s willing to reduce crude production if required to meet the country’s OPEC commitments.

The province is prepared to reduce output if the decrease is “proportional” with the country’s other regions, Ahmed Al-Askari, head of Kirkuk province’s oil, energy and industry committee, said by phone. It hasn’t yet received any official request to cut oil output. The state-run North Oil Co. pumps about 160,000 to 170,000 barrels a day from the region.

Iraq agreed to join fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in an agreement on Nov. 30 to reduce output, as the group seeks to clear a persisting oil surplus. Under the accord, the country will curb supplies by 210,000 barrels a day as of Jan. 1, equivalent to about 4.5 percent of its total production.

Kurdish peshmerga fighters moved to protect Kirkuk in 2014 as Islamic State miltants captured swathes of northern Iraq. The Kurdistan Regional Government, which accounts for about 12 percent of Iraq’s total oil output, said on Dec. 5 it didn’t expect to be required to make significant output cuts as part of the OPEC agreement.

About 105,000 to 115,000 barrels a day of Kirkuk’s crude is shipped through the KRG’s export pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, and from there to international markets. About 30,000 a day is processed at a local refinery, and 25,000 sent to Baghdad’s Al-Quds power plant.

— With assistance by Grant Smith

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