Iraq invited to next OPEC meeting

Thursday, September 18, 2003

NICOSIA For the first time since the fall of the Saddam regime, Iraq has been invited to a meeting of OPEC oil ministers.

Iraq has been invited to the OPEC oil ministers meeting in Vienna on Sept. 24, officials said. They said Iraq has accepted and Iraqi Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr Al Uloum will attend. Al Uloum was appointed earlier this month by Iraq's new governing council.

"As a major producer and exporter of oil with huge potential for expansion, Iraq will certainly play an increasingly dominant role in international oil affairs, contributing, as it is sincerely envisaged, in the stabilization of the present and future developments of the oil market," the Iraqi Oil Ministry said on Tuesday.

Iraq has been producing about 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. But exports have been marginal amid sabotage of the Ceyhan-Kirkuk pipeline.

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