The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to change its production ceiling when the group meets in June, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Sunday, according to the semiofficial Mehr news agency. “Lowering OPEC’s production ceiling requires consensus between all members … under current conditions, it seems unlikely that the OPEC production ceiling will change,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying.
Zanganeh said last month that OPEC should cut its target daily crude-oil production by at least 5 percent, or about 1.5 million barrels per day.
OPEC will meet June 5. At its last meeting in November, the organization led by oil kingpin Saudi Arabia, decided against cutting output to defend its market share, resisting calls by some members such as Iran and Venezuela to cut production in an attempt to shore up prices.
The Brent crude-oil benchmark price settled down $1.17, or 1.8 percent, at $65.37 a barrel Friday.
Lower oil prices have caused pain for OPEC’s less wealthy producers, including Iran. While the meeting in Vienna next month is likely to feature renewed demands from some organization members for a reduction in the amount of oil pumped, even officials in the countries that favor a curb see it as unlikely.
Iran wants other OPEC members to make way for a rise in its exports should it succeed in reaching a final deal with six world powers over its nuclear program. The current deadline for agreement on the nuclear issue is June 30.
(Reporting by Sam Wilkin; writing by Rania El Gamal; editing by Susan Fenton and David Clarke)