OPEC/non-OPEC coalition discussing oil cut extension up to six months: Iraq minister

London/Baghdad (Platts)--28 Mar 2018 542 am EDT/942 GMT

OPEC and its 10 non-OPEC partners are mulling an extension to their production cuts up to the first half of 2019, Iraq oil minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said Wednesday.

"By the end of this year, we will assess and decide how to go ahead," he said at the Iraq Energy Forum. "Some are suggesting a three-month extension, some suggest a six-month extension."

The production cut agreement calls on OPEC and 10 allies led by Russia to cut a combined 1.8 million b/d through the end of 2018.

Ministers from the participating countries have said they plan to continue some form of market management beyond the deal's expiry, with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday saying he envisioned a 10-20 year alliance.

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OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo, speaking at the Iraq Energy Forum, welcomed the crown prince's support for the organization's efforts to make permanent its framework of cooperation with Russia and the other partners.

"It would be helpful to get this support from all prime ministers and leaders of the countries," he said.

But he had no details on what the deal may entail.

"The architecture of this framework is still a work in progress," Barkindo said. "Over the course of this year, we will have a framework to which we can sign up to. We are looking for a very long-term sustainable cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC."

He noted that in addition to the 24 participating countries in the cuts, six other countries are observers to the pact.

"The platform is open for more countries to join," he said.

OPEC holds its next meeting June 22 in Vienna.

In the interim, OPEC and non-OPEC ministers, including Russia's Alexander Novak, will meet April 10-12 in New Delhi for the International Energy Forum, and a six-country monitoring committee overseeing the production cut agreement chaired by Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih will meet in Jeddah on April 20.

--Herman Wang,
--Adal Mirza,
--Edited by James Leech,

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