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Iraqi oil sector: Fighting against all odds

Iraq’s myriad troubles will not stop its crude output from growing again in 2016, says oil minister Adil Abdul al-Mahdi

Islamic State (IS) controls large swathes of the country’s north and west. Conflict has displaced at least four million citizens. Kirkuk and its oil have been subsumed into an expanded Kurdish region, which is itching for independence. Basrawis are demanding more money from Baghdad. War has rendered the country’s biggest refinery, Baiji, inoperable. The slump in oil prices has wrecked Baghdad’s budget.  Yet somehow Iraq hangs on and somehow its oil sector continues to defy the gloom. “Iraq lived with sanctions and we can deal with this,” says Adil Abdul al-Mahdi, the country’s oil minister.   Not just survive, either. Abdul-Mahdi believes Iraqi production, now at 4.35m barrels per day, will

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