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Low oil price causes many crisis for Iraq

Low oil price causes many crisis for Iraq
Finance minister of Iraq stated that the OPEC cartel of oil-producing nations is "trying, really" to cut output and raise prices as his country suffers the effects of the weakness.
Hoshyar Zebari said the country's revenues had fallen "dramatically" as a result of the market turmoil - at a time the government is trying to defeat so-called Islamic State (IS) in the country - putting a huge strain on resources.
Iraq relies mostly on oil revenues. Hence, due to global oil price glut, the country is passing through financial pains. The government forecast the price of oil this year at $45 per barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed to cut output last year to help prop up prices as it battles to maintain its market share from the challenge posed by cheaper, US-produced shale oil.
However, a former Iraqi oil minister - now an MP on the parliament's energy committee - is optimistic that prices will soon recover.
Ibrahim Bahr Al Ulloum said, "We are seeing some discussion between Saudi Arabia and Russia and also from inside the OPEC to push Saudi Arabia to reduce production."
The solution sounds simple – reduce production of oil and the price will increase. But in the long term, experts here, including Dr Ulloum, believe that OPEC, which was founded in Baghdad to unify the oil price, needs to be restructured to include other big oil producing nations including Russia.
Mr. Zebari mentioned, "OPEC is trying really to cut production collectively and the gap between supply and demand will close by the end of this year - but these are all expectations."
Across Iraq, businesses are going under. People are trying to save whatever money they are making in case things get worse. Prices are going up but salaries are not. The government has warned its 8 million employees that soon, it may be unable to pay their wages because of the huge state deficit - a deficit Mr. Zebari put at 24%.
Managers like Haider Rasheed, who owns a car dealership in Baghdad, say people are worried about the deteriorating security.
He said, “We have militias, we have gangs in Iraq and now those people don’t have money and that means they will kidnap and commit crimes more.
He further added, “Maybe they kill people to take money from them.”
The huge deficit also affects the war effort and has the potential to reverse gains made against IS in recent months, which could not only destabilize Iraq but also its neighbors.
Oil analyst Dr. Sajad Jiyad thinks declining oil prices may also contribute to the European migration crisis. He said, “Additionally you’ve got the young people who have had enough of, number one, the violence that has happened in Iraq in the last few months, and, number two, the economic fallout, and they are seeking a better life elsewhere.”
Updated 09 Feb 2016 | Soruce: Yahoo | By S.Seal
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