A. The past three and half years have seen Gulf producers maintain their dominant position within OPEC, providing around 70% of the organization’s production. But there have been some dramatic shifts among Gulf exporters, that if sustained, will have long-term consequences for their relative power within the producer group.

Iran’s percentage of OPEC production – almost 13% in the first quarter of 2009, fell by 35% to just over 8%, according to MEES figures (see graph). Qatar too experienced a major drop in OPEC production share (MEES, 23 November). But it is Iraq that has taken most of Iran’s share, with output rising almost from an average of 2.53mn b/d in first quarter of 2009 to 3.2mn b/d last quarter. As a percentage of OPEC production, this works out as a 29% rise to 10.22%. (CONTINUED - 355 WORDS)