DUBAI Oct 5 Iraq will later this month host
influential bodies that assess oil production levels, ahead of
an OPEC meeting when the topic will become even hotter as
members jostle over allocations.
OPEC's second largest producer has invited international
organisations and media groups who estimate its production to
visit the oil ministry in Baghdad and possibly the southern oil
city of Basra.
The meetings, scheduled for Oct. 24-25, are "for the purpose
of sharing, in details, the most accurate figures of Iraqi oil
production," state-owned Oil Marketing Company SOMO said in the
invitation letter received by Reuters.
"During the said meetings, you will also have the chance to
register the agency you are representing for a periodic
publication that is expected to meet your requirements in
estimating oil production in Iraq."
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi has questioned one of
the two methods OPEC is using to estimate the oil output of its
members, signalling the issue could be a problem for the country
to join a potential deal limiting production the group has
agreed on in Algeria last week.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which
meets on Nov.30, uses two sets of figures for output estimates -
submissions by the countries themselves and estimates by
secondary sources, which are usually lower.
The secondary sources put Iraq's production for August at
4.343 million barrels per day.
But according to the OPEC figures, Iraq reported its output
as 4.638 million bpd in August.
The six secondary sources currently used by OPEC are:
oil-pricing agencies Platts and Argus, The Paris-based
International Energy Agency (IEA), the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA), consultancy Cambridge Energy Research
Associates (CERA) and industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence
Reuters produces its own estimates of OPEC output
and was also invited to Iraq, although it is not one of
the secondary sources.
(Reporting by Rania El Gamal, editing by William Hardy)