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Iraq oil min sees OPEC output unchanged at Vienna

Written by: Staff
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ABU DHABI, Sep 10 (Reuters) Iraq's Oil minister today said he expected no change in OPEC output levels at the cartel's summit in Vienna this week.

''We don't expect any change in production,'' Hussain al-Shahristani told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference of Iraq's aid donors in the United Arab Emirates.

''We are going to observe the demand in the coming few months. I think by the end of the year we should see some relaxation on the demand side. We are going to maintain supply at the same level so there will be less pressure on the market.'' Shahristani's comments were in line with remarks by top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and fellow OPEC producers, who yesterday signalled they would keep output near a 25-year high for now.

Iraq's proven oil reserves stand at about 115 billion barrels, the world's third largest after Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Shahristani also said Iraq's current production capacity stood at 2.5 million barrels per day and hoped to increase that to 3 million by year-end.

He also said the government would pass a hydrocarbon law by the end of the year, adding that energy majors had already expressed interest in investing in Iraq.

The law would set ground rules for how the state's resources are managed, which would unlock potentially huge foreign investment in the vital oil industry.

REUTERS DKA BS1324

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