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Iraq's fractious politics weigh on oil sector

Fears that country is teetering on the brink of civil war and the increasingly poisonous relations between Baghdad and Erbil may stymie Iraq's ambitions to boost crude production

The deterioration in Iraq's politics is a growing threat to its stability and may hamper bullish forecasts for its oil production, including hopes that the country will add another 600,000 barrels a day (b/d) to supply this year, believe industry executives and analysts.Opec pegged Iraq's output at just over 3 million b/d in December, a dip from more than 3.2m b/d a month earlier. Since then, growing civil protests against prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, which on 25 January led to the Iraqi army killing five protestors in Fallujah, and further disintegration in relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad have prompted fears that Iraq may be on the edge of a civil war

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