As OPEC held a historic gathering in Caracas amid international concern over oil prices, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said Wednesday there was too much oil on the market.
"We have excess supply on the market," he told journalists a few hours before the scheduled start of a summit of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Zangeneh pointed out that the oil cartel already had decided to put an additional 800,000 barrels a day on the market starting on October 1. "800,000 is more than enough from the point of view of the balance between supply and demand," he said.
He said the next move would depend on how the market responds. "We are waiting to witness the reaction of the market," he said.He also played down the effect of the US decision to release 30 million barrels from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. "This is a short-term political action," he said.
Zanganeh spoke as he headed into a ministerial meeting called to resolve differences on a final statement to be adopted at the end of the two-day summit, only the second in OPEC's 40-year history.
Officials said the document will address taxes on oil, which the cartel say are largely to blame for the high prices consumers pay for gasoline.
The summit will also underline OPEC's willingness to hold a dialogue with consumer countries, something the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations and the European Union had recently requested.
While the cartel has come under pressure to take measures to curb prices, officials said output levels and prices were not on the agenda.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)