Foreign oil companies face possible output constraint

OPEC quota and market economics reasons Iraq may tell foreign oil firms to reduce production below contracted plateau. Cuts into profits will be compensated, though security issues could doom the deals.

BAGHDAD - On Wednesday, when OPEC holds its first quarterly meeting of 2010, it will begin at least unofficially to address the looming issue of a resurgent output from the world's third largest proven oil reserves.

The meeting, where the cartel weighs the current and future supply, demand and price for crude and decides whether to adjust their collective quota, will be the first since Iraq finalized all 10 contracts with international oil companies, on the back of which Iraq plans to catapult beyond the 2.56 million barrels per day (bpd) it currently produces.

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