Opec to attend Iraq Energy Forum in June

Sixth annual event will be held in Baghdad from June 18-20

Technicians at the Rumaylah oilfield near Iraq's southern port city of Basra. Iraq exported $11.07 billion worth of oil in March. AFP

Opec said it will participate in the sixth Iraq Energy Forum in Baghdad from June 18-20.

Held under the theme “The Middle East as the cornerstone of global energy security”, the forum is expected to welcome government officials, policymakers, industry leaders, experts and analysts from around the world.

Ali Allawi, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister of Economic Affairs and Minister of Finance, is among the confirmed participants.

The event will cover a number of important issues related to energy, including global energy security, the energy transition, uncertainties related to economic recovery, investment and sustainable development.

“We are extremely excited to return to Baghdad and to take part in the 6th IEF, which is taking place at a decisive moment in the history of the energy sector … [it] promises thought-provoking discussions on some of the most important issues of our times,” Opec Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said.

He added that forum has grown into a premier regional event that attracts luminaries from Iraq’s energy industry, high-level policymakers and some of the foremost thinkers on energy.

Oil prices have been extremely volatile this year, affected by the conflict in Ukraine and concerns about demand in China as well as tighter US crude inventories.

“As the birthplace of Opec in 1960 and one of the world’s most important oil providers, Iraq is well suited to host discussions on how to ensure a stable, secure and sustainable energy future for all,” Mr Barkindo said.

Owing to the Russian war-related trade and production disruptions, the price of Brent — the global benchmark for two thirds of the world's oil — is expected to average $100 a barrel this year, its highest level since 2013, after increasing by more than 40 per cent annually, a World Bank report released last month showed.

As the second-largest producer of oil in Opec, Iraq is making an effort to maximise its oil exports and revenue.

Iraq can ensure crude oil exports of more than 3.3 million barrels per day from its southern terminals, as the country looks to leverage higher energy prices to support its economy, Iraq's Minister of Oil Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar said last month.

The forum will also host the formal launch of the book Opec 60 Years and Beyond: A Story of Courage, Co-operation and Commitment, which was prepared to commemorate the organisation’s 60th anniversary.

Updated: May 10, 2022, 6:38 PM
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