Iraq moves to regain stature atop OPEC

Fifty years after the cartel was founded in Baghdad, Iraq is attempting to overcome political and technical obstacles to snatch the oil crown from the Saudis.
Dancers celebrate the 50th anniversary of OPEC in a ceremony at the Ministry of Oil in Baghdad. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Fifty years ago this month, Baghdad took the honor of hosting Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and Venezuela to establish what is now the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Now, stunted by decades of war and sanctions, Iraq is plotting its comeback.

Iraq is not hampered by the infamous OPEC quota, which aims to limit global supply by binding member countries to pump oil in proportion to their reserves. Iraq has the third-largest reserves in the world, so its relatively small production capacity hasn’t caused the cartel much concern.

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