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Iran Press TV

Iran says most OPEC states support cuts

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 2, 2015 5:36PM

Iran said on Wednesday that a majority of member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) support reducing the Organization's production to maintain prices.

"Most OPEC members excluding Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf littoral states agree with reducing oil production to maintain prices, said Mehdi Asali, Iran's national representative to OPEC.

Nevertheless, those countries that approve of a production cut can do nothing to that effect without first receiving the agreement of Saudi Arabia and its allies, Asali added.

He further said Saudi Arabia and its allies support maintaining OPEC's current quota even if this leads to further drops in oil prices. This, the official said, is in line with their long-term interests.

Oil prices have crashed from around $115 a barrel in June last year to under $45 a barrel now.

Asali said the management of supply is presently the most important challenge that OPEC is facing, adding that the Organization's member states still need to devise an agreement on how to manage supplies to help stabilize the market.

He warned that the market still faces the risks of further falls in prices if non-OPEC producers continue to increase production as a result of lower operation costs.

The prices can only rise if the current drop in US production of unconventional oil continues and OPEC also returns to its previous production quota, Asali added as quoted by Shana news agency.

These comments follow remarks by Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh earlier today that he has called on OPEC in a new letter to cut its production by 1.3 million barrels a day.

Zangeneh also said he has told OPEC member states in his letter that they should give way to Iran's incoming extra oil barrels.

He emphasized that Iran – as he had emphasized before – will not require any authorization to increase its oil production once the sanctions are lifted.

He said forcing Iran's oil out of the market was "an instance of a cruel and illegal behavior", and that Tehran is determined to boost its oil production to levels that existed before the implementation of US-led sanctions against the country.

The letter came as OPEC will meet in Vienna on Friday to discuss market conditions.

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