CAIRO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Iraq's oil production has exceeded
3.2 million barrels a day (b/d) so far this month and it hopes
to hit capacity of 4 million b/d in 2014, its Oil Minister Abdul
Kareem Luaibi said on Saturday.
"Next year we're planning production close to 3.7 (million
b/d)," he added in remarks to reporters on the sidelines of a
meeting of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting
Iraq, rebuilding its energy industry after decades of war
and sanctions, has emerged as the second biggest producer in the
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), leading to
rivalry with top producer Saudi Arabia.
The two countries have backed different candidates to
succeed Libya's Abdullah al-Badri as OPEC secretary general. His
term was extended until the end of next year.
"There will be another debate in the first months of the new
year... (the decision) should be by the end of May 2013," Luaibi
Saudi Arabia has also pressed for Iraq to join any future
rounds of supply curbs that OPEC makes to support prices if
energy markets weaken.
Baghdad has resisted this, insisting it should first regain
the 4 million b/d output capacity it lost during the 1980-88 war
with Iran, a decade of harsh sanctions in the 1990s and civil
war since 2003.
"We haven't reached the quota that was set over 40 years
ago. We haven't reached it yet," Luaibi said.
"The issue of quotas will for sure need to be reviewed based
on many indicators such as production capacities and reserves
and others. It is known that Iraq was deprived for many years
because of the wars."