OPEC at odds over extent of production cut
OPEC members are "a little" at odds on the extent of a production cut ahead of the cartel's January 17 summit in Vienna, Iran's oil minister said Tuesday, cited by the official IRNA news agency.
"Iran believes OPEC's output should be reduced. The rest of the members too hold the same view, but with a little difference as regards the level of reduction," Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh said.
Tehran's Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries governor Kazempour Aredebili said at the weekend that Iran wanted a cut of 1.5 million barrels "at least."
He added that Zanganeh would announce Iran's official position in the coming days, but the oil minister reportedly declined to give an exact figure demanded by Tehran, OPEC's number-two producer behind Saudi Arabia.
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser said Monday that 1.5 million barrels a day was now the "agreed figure" among the 11-member cartel.
But Qatar urged OPEC to start pumping at least two million fewer barrels of crude a day when it meets in Vienna next week.
The OPEC basket price of global crudes fell to $23.30 on Monday from $23.51 on Friday. Analysts said the market weakness was largely due to technical selling, adding that the market needed fresh pledges of output cuts from OPEC for prices to trend higher.
"But there was also a feeling that with a 1.5-million-barrels-per-day OPEC output cut practically signed and sealed in market psyche, it was felt there was little fresh news from the cartel that would emerge to support prices," said Lawrence Eagles, an analyst with the GNI brokerage in London. — (AFP)
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