Iran refuses to increase OPEC crude oil output

Iran’s oil minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, who was invited to the meeting of the OPEC monitoring committee in Vienna, left the meeting about an hour after it started and said he did not consider it possible to reach an agreement with OPEC on quota adjustments.

“I do not think it is possible to reach an agreement,” said the Iranian minister to reporters in a hotel. “It was a protocol meeting. It wasn’t good,” he told reporters. He did not state exactly why he left the meeting.

However, Zangeneh spoke positively about the meeting with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak. “Good,” the minister said in answer to a question about what he thought about talks with the Russian Minister of Energy. “There were several proposals, but I do not think that we will reach an agreement,” he said, touching upon the question of whether there were any proposals to increase quotas for oil production.

Zangeneh also added that as a member of OPEC, Iran should first discuss this issue internally, and afterwards with Russia.

“This is very important, be we first need to discuss the issue and reach a solution within OPEC. First of all, we are members of OPEC, and the decisions OPEC makes are important. After that, we can coordinate things with Russia,” the Iranian minister said. “I don’t think we’ll be able to reach an agreement,” he added, answering a question about whether he thought it was possible to reach a compromise on the matter of easing the conditions for oil production within the framework of OPEC.

As previously reported by Shana news agency, Zangeneh believes that the oil market is currently balanced and production quotas do not need to be increased.

“Someone should at least tell me why we should increase production when the market is balanced,” he said. “There are no signs of a supply shortage in the market,” he added.

The monitoring committee at OPEC discussed the issue of lowering quotas in the agreement on limiting production. Russia and Saudi Arabia have offered to increase production, as the alliance exceeded its quota, and keeping production at the current level threatens to create a further deficit in the market.

Iran maintains that the idea to increase production comes from U.S. authorities, who allegedly manipulate the oil market and threaten sanctions against Iran, OPEC’s third-largest oil producer.

  Iran, OPEC