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Iraq reviews oil ties with United States

OPEC: Iraqi oil production up 4.4 percent.

By Daniel J. Graeber

BAGHDAD, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. energy companies need to stay invested in Iraq's oil sector as the war-torn country continues on the path of reconstruction, the Iraqi oil minister said.

Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi met U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones in Baghdad to discuss progress in the Iraqi oil sector. The oil minister's office said Sunday he stressed that U.S. energy companies need to stay invested in Iraq, especially in the oil sector.

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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said member state Iraq produced 3.16 million barrels of oil per day in September, up 4.4 percent from the previous month.

Much of Iraq's oil sector has been spared from violence from the insurgency waged by the Sunni-led group calling itself the Islamic State. Most of the export terminals in Iraq are in the south of the country, far away from the territory controlled by the terrorist group.

U.S. officials, meanwhile, have stayed in Baghdad's corner in a spat with the semiautonomous Kurdish government over oil exports. Some of the oil produced in the Kurdish north has left for international markets through a Turkish export pathway, though few buyers have surfaced publicly.

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Three American companies -- Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Phillips 66 -- are among the dozens of companies receiving oil from the official Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organization.

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