April 1, 2018 / 6:03 PM / in 4 months

UPDATE 1-Iraq cabinet approves raising crude oil output capacity

(Adds OPEC agreement, exploration contracts)

BAGHDAD, April 1 (Reuters) - The Iraqi cabinet on Sunday approved a plan to raise the nation’s crude oil output capacity to 6.5 million barrels per day by 2022, according to a government statement.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said in January capacity was currently close to 5 million bpd.

The country is producing more than 4.4 million bpd in line with an agreement between the 14-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other exporters including Russia to cut supply to boost oil prices.

OPEC’s second-largest producer, after Saudi Arabia, Iraq plans to award oil and gas exploration and development contracts in 11 new blocks on April 15.

The Iraqi government depends on the sector for more than 90 percent of its income. (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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