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Growth pause in Iraq

Iraq’s output soared in recent years. But the price slump and politics mean further rises are getting harder

THE GOVERNMENT is mired in dysfunction, with Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi struggling to placate a popular challenge. Management of oil and gas is negligible – the oil ministry has been rudderless since minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi resigned on 24 March. A deputy minister, Fayad Al-Nema, is ostensibly in charge. None of this helps lift a sense of gloom now surrounding Iraq’s oil sector, especially after last year’s stellar performance. In 2015, production rose by 0.7m barrels a day, to 4.1m b/d. Including Kurdish oil, it hit 4.43m b/d at the beginning of 2016. But in March, it was 4.19m b/d, well down from January’s highs, on account of sabotage that shut the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline in the

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