Iraq Was Pressured to Increase Oil Output Away from OPEC, Says Oil Minister

A worker is seen at Iraq's Majnoon oilfield near Basra, Iraq, March 31, 2021. Picture taken March 31, 2021. (Reuters)
A worker is seen at Iraq's Majnoon oilfield near Basra, Iraq, March 31, 2021. Picture taken March 31, 2021. (Reuters)
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Iraq Was Pressured to Increase Oil Output Away from OPEC, Says Oil Minister

A worker is seen at Iraq's Majnoon oilfield near Basra, Iraq, March 31, 2021. Picture taken March 31, 2021. (Reuters)
A worker is seen at Iraq's Majnoon oilfield near Basra, Iraq, March 31, 2021. Picture taken March 31, 2021. (Reuters)

Iraq was pressured to increase its oil production outside the remit of OPEC's policy on output, Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said on Saturday.

He also told Al Hadath TV that OPEC was committed to providing the oil supplies needed to compensate for any shortages.

OPEC has resisted calls by the United States and the International Energy Agency to pump more crude to cool prices, which reached a 14-year peak last month after Washington and Brussels imposed sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.

OPEC+, which consists of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, will
raise output by about 432,000 barrels per day in May.

Separately, Iraq said it is still maintaining its position in the Indian oil imports market despite India's increased imports of Russian oil, state news agency INA reported on Friday, citing the state-owned marketer SOMO's head, Alaa al-Yasiri.

"Several countries including India found Russian crude oil, which is now being sold with big discounts, as an alternative to competing crude oils," Al-Yasiri said.

But Iraq is keeping up its high market share in India thanks to the contracts it has with government and private refineries, Al-Yasiri said.



Construction Begins on ‘Banan City’ Project in Riyadh

Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Construction Begins on ‘Banan City’ Project in Riyadh

Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group announced on Saturday that construction work has commenced on the “Banan City” Project in Riyadh’s northeastern Al-Fursan suburb.
The company stated that operations are underway around the clock, adhering to construction schedules and plans. Heavy and operational equipment are fully deployed to deliver units to owners sequentially.
Banan City is set to be a smart city spanning 10 million square meters in northeastern Riyadh.
It aims to offer an unprecedented quality of life to over 120,000 residents within a gated community. The development will integrate cutting-edge smart city technologies with residential privacy and the latest sustainability standards.
In May, the National Housing Company and Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group laid the foundation for “Banan City” and began accepting reservations.
On July 9, the group disclosed to the Egyptian stock exchange that “Banan City,” described as a sustainable city, has achieved unprecedented sales since its launch in May, surpassing the first-year sales target in just two months.
Hesham Talaat Moustafa, Chairman of Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group, projected the project’s revenue at around 40 billion Saudi riyals ($12 billion), with a total investment cost estimated at 31.4 billion riyals.