Iran won't negotiate with OPEC over output hike

GMT 16:31 2015 Tuesday ,17 November

Arab Today, arab today Iran won't negotiate with OPEC over output hike

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh
Tehran - AFP

OPEC member Iran will not negotiate with the cartel over a planned half million barrels per day oil production hike once sanctions are lifted, the country's oil minister said Tuesday.

Despite a supply glut keeping crude prices low, Iran has consistently said it plans to up its output when nuclear-related sanctions are lifted under a deal agreed in July with world powers.

Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh reiterated the stance at a press conference in Tehran, where he said OPEC would be informed of the production jump but no more.

"We will not negotiate with OPEC to increase our production. We will only notify them when we adapt," he told reporters.

Iran, which saw its exports slip under sanctions and Western pressure on buyers to steer clear of the Islamic republic, is intent on reclaiming lost market share.

Zanganeh has repeatedly said share is a greater priority than crude prices.

"We should not be worried about the price," he said.

"Those who have taken advantage of the absence of Iran to increase their production and have benefited should worry."

Saudi Arabia has refused to cut its output despite crude prices falling massively in the past year.

Sanctions on Iran are expected to be lifted in early 2016, allowing for the 500,000 bpd hike, followed by a further ramping up of one million extra bpd one year later, Zanganeh said.

Iran currently produces around 2.8 million bpd, compared to 4.0 million bpd in 2011 before the heaviest US and European sanctions on its oil sector kicked in.

Its exports have slid from 2.3 million bpd to just over one million bpd in the same period, despite having the fourth largest reserves in the world.

Iran also has the second biggest gas reserves, making it the global leader in combined energy potential.

The oil ministry has announced it intends to attract up to $100 billion (90 billion euros) of foreign investment to modernise the sector, which has been underdeveloped since the Islamic revolution in 1979, when sanctions are lifted.


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