Iran to boost oil output before considering accord to tackle glut

Oil minister says country should be left alone until production reaches 4m barrels a day

  A shipment of Iranian oil is delivered to a   refinery in Spain: Iran wants to boost output by one million barrels a day this year after international sanctions on its oil industry were lifted in January. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

A shipment of Iranian oil is delivered to a refinery in Spain: Iran wants to boost output by one million barrels a day this year after international sanctions on its oil industry were lifted in January. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

 

Iran plans to boost crude output to four million barrels a day before it will consider joining other suppliers in seeking ways to rebalance the global oil market.

“They should leave us alone [until then]”, oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said, according to the Iranian Students News Agency. “After that, we will work with them.”

Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar proposed an accord to freeze oil output to tackle the global surplus. Oil prices extended gains after their initial meeting on February 16th, and have climbed more than 40 per cent since the 12-year low in January.

Oil at $70 a barrel is “suitable,” the news agency Isna cited Mr Zanganeh saying.

Iran wants to boost output by one million barrels a day this year after international sanctions on its oil industry were lifted in January. Production was three million barrels a day in February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent crude closed at $40.39 a barrel on Friday.

Russian business delegation

Alexander Novak

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and non-members have intermittently held discussions since November 2014, when Opec first signalled it was unwilling to cut production on it own to support prices. Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia and Mexico assembled in Vienna that month without reaching any deal. A tour of oil capitals from Moscow to Riyadh last month by Venezuelan energy minister Eulogio Del Pino failed to produce an accord.

Iran’s oil exports will rise to two million barrels a day in the month to March 20th, the end of the Iranian year, from 1.75 million barrels a day a month earlier, Mr Zanganeh said.

– (Bloomberg)