Iran oil minister: No OPEC discussions yet on size of production cut
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar-Zangeneh announced on Monday, October 29, that OPEC members have not yet discussed the size of any reduction in the cartel's oil production. "No discussions were held by members on the volume of an OPEC production reduction," Zangeneh told reporters on the fringes of a seminar in Tehran, adding that the cartel's member states had "formulated no proposition on prices."
"Today, it seems that both OPEC and non-OPEC producers are on the same boat with stormy conditions which is why they must both cooperate to leave this current critical situation," the Iranian minister said.
Zangeneh's comments came as experts from the OPEC and non-OPEC producers were gathered in Vienna Monday, with the cartel seeking support for an output cut to boost crude prices, which have slumped to two-year lows since September 11.
Referring to the Vienna meeting, Zangeneh said that it was "important for the future decisions of OPEC that the approach taken by participants at the meeting on offer and demand are concurrent." He also called on OPEC producing countries to "cooperate to stabilize the markets."
The 11-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is warning of an oil price war if major non-OPEC producers like Norway and Russia do not coordinate action to prop up prices.
OPEC, which produces 40 percent of the world's crude, faces a dilemma in responding to the price slump, which threatens the economies of its member states. While the cartel is expected to cut production at its November 14 meeting in Vienna, it remains cautious, with the economies of major industrialized countries facing a slowdown, hastened by the terror attacks in the United States on September 11.
Oil prices have fallen by some 20 percent since then. Iran is OPEC's second largest producer, after Saudi Arabia, producing around 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of which 2.1 million bpd are for export. ― (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)