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OPEC Invites Iraq, the UAE to Vienna this Month | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A worker checks the valves at Al-Sheiba oil refinery in Basra, Iraq, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani/File Photo

Khobar – The Secretariat of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has extended invitations to four OPEC and non-OPEC countries to attend a technical meeting to be held in Vienna this month, to monitor the commitment to an agreement to reduce global oil production, well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The sources said that the invitation to attend the OPEC Technical Committee meeting on August 21 was sent to Iraq and the United Arab Emirates from OPEC, and to Kazakhstan and Malaysia from outside the Organization.

Earlier this week, the four countries attended a two-day meeting in Abu Dhabi with representatives of the Technical Committee to discuss reasons behind their low rate of commitment to the agreement.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers are cutting output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2018 to get rid of an excess and support prices.

A panel comprising Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, plus officials from OPEC’s Vienna headquarters, met individually with officials from Iraq, the UAE, Kazakhstan and Malaysia.

“Discussions were conducted in a constructive atmosphere and proved fruitful,” OPEC said in a statement.

Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Falih said on Wednesday he discussed efforts to stabilize oil markets with Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi during a meeting in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, the Saudi Energy Ministry said that the meeting touched on several issues, including investment opportunities between the two countries.

Photos posted by Al-Falih on Twitter showed that a number of vice presidents of Aramco attended the meeting.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that some of the countries attending the Abu Dhabi meeting expressed dissatisfaction with the inaccuracy of the sources used by OPEC to measure the commitment to the production reduction agreement.

The sources added that representatives of Iraq and the UAE were alarmed by the figures provided by the secondary sources of the technical committee responsible for monitoring oil production, while the official figures show that the level of their commitment was in line with the agreement.

“The UAE, Iraq, Kazakhstan, and Malaysia all expressed their full support for the existing monitoring mechanism and their willingness to fully cooperate with the JTC and JMMC in the months ahead in order to achieve the goal of reaching full conformity,” OPEC said in its statement.