Iraq says should be exempted from OPEC output freeze

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi speaks during a news conference during his visit to the oil field of Zubair, in Basra, Iraq, August 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said on Sunday his country should be exempted from output restrictions as it was fighting a war with Islamic State.

“We are fighting a vicious war against IS,” Luaibi said in e briefing for reporters, adding that Iraq should get the same exemption as Nigeria and Libya.

Falah al-Amiri, head of Iraq state oil marketer SOMO, said Iraq’s market share was compromised by the various wars it fought since the eighties. He added: “We should be producing 9 million if it wasn’t for the wars.”

“Some countries took our market share,” he said stressing that this was why Iraq refused to cut back output.

Luaibi said Iraq would make its case at OPEC “in a pleasant environment” to avoid tension.

Reporting By Maher Chmaytelli; Writing By Maha El Dahan, Editing by William Maclean