Azerbaijan, Baku, April 9 / Trend A.Badalova/
OPEC seeks to balance world oil prices, which are currently affected by political instability rather than by production issues, Reuters quotes Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi as saying.
"OPEC is still doing its best to produce enough crude to meet demand, but political issues are affecting prices," Luaibi told reporters on Monday.
Oil prices at the world markets decreased on Monday amid Iran's statements about its readiness to resume the negotiations over its nuclear program.
Following the auction on March 30, the price on Brent futures for May increased by $0.49 a barrel up to $122.88 per barrel. The cost of WTI futures for May on the New York Mercantile Exchange increased by $0.24 percent up to $103.02 per barrel.
Iraq currently presides over the OPEC and holds the fourth largest proven oil reserves in the world. According to BP, the country's proved oil reserves amounted to 115 billion barrels in early 2011. Iraq's oil production increased by 0.6 percent and amounted to 2.46 million barrels per day in 2010.
Luaibi said that Iraq's oil exports expected to hit 2.3 million barrels per day, or slightly more, in April.
Earlier Iraqi Oil Ministry representative Asym Jihad told Trend that in March 2012, Iraq increased its oil exports up to 2.5 million barrels per day, which is a record figure since 1980. Some 59.4 million barrels of the total exports, that is, 1.9 million barrels per day account for the Basra city. Exports in the amount of 12.4 million barrels, that is 400,000 barrels per day, account for Kirkuk.
According to Luaibi, Iraq was still studying whether to allow Exxon Mobil to take part in a fourth oil bidding round due to a dispute over contracts it signed with the Kurdish administration in Northern Iraq.
Relations between the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq and Baghdad deteriorated in October 2011 after the U.S Exxon Mobil Company received permission from the authorities of the Kurdish administration to conduct oil exploration and production in the Iraqi region. Baghdad considered the deal as illegal and warned the company that if it does not abandon the agreement with the Kurds, its deals with the central Iraqi government may be revised.
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