OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, Iraq, has never hidden the fact that it wants to get the highest possible revenues from its oil. It even pleaded exemption from the cartel’s cuts in the talks leading to the production reduction deal, on the grounds that it needed more funds to fight ISIS.
Iraq didn’t get that exemption, but it is now considering a change in the way it prices its oil exports to the most prized market for the Middle Eastern producers—Asia—in an effort to increase its oil revenues.
Iraq’s state marketing company SOMO is seeking feedback from customers by August 31 on a plan to change the Basra crude pricing for Asia to the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) Oman futures beginning next year, dropping the average of Oman and Dubai quotes by S&P Global Platts. Iraq’s idea is seen as a breakaway move from the leading Middle Eastern exporter, Saudi Arabia, whose official selling prices (OSP)—using S&P price assessments for decades—are usually followed by the other main producers in the region.