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Iraqi Gov't-Political Unrest Not Hitting Oil Exports


The Iraqi capital Baghdad has seen significant political unrest emerge over the past 24 hours following the announcement by influential politician and Shia Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that he would be retiring from the political stage. At least 24 people have been killed so far according to the NYT.

  • The Iraq State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) stated earlier that, 'Oil exports operations have not been affected by recent incidents'. Added that Iraq has the capacity to boost oil exports, and can increase the level of exports to Europe if requested.
  • SOMO also stated that a delegation would be travelling to Germany for talks, and that requests for increased supply have come in from China and India.
  • Despite the upbeat tone from SOMO, Iraq's political situation remains extremely febrile, which in turn could spill over and impact negatively on the country's hydrocarbon sector.
  • Iraqi politics has been in a state of paralysis since last year, when inconclusive legislative elections saw al-Sadr's bloc win the most seats but unable to form a gov't with the second-largest bloc, formed by parties largely backed by Iran.
  • There is little sign that the political situation in the country will stabilise any time soon. Even if the current unrest, which has seen al-Sadr's supporters storm gov't building complexes, calms down there is little prospect of a gov't of any stripe being able to unite such disparate and bitterly opposed camps.

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