Venezuela has thrown its weight behind fellow OPEC member Iran’s right to raise its oil production once sanctions are lifted.
“Venezuela maintains its position that Iran has every right to return to the oil market, given that they themselves lowered crude exports because of the sanctions promoted by the United States,” a statement from Venezuela’s Oil Minister Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino said.
Iran plans to increase supply by at least 1 million barrels per day (b/d), or one percent of global supply, after sanctions end early next year.
Iran hopes to boost oil production to 5.7 mb/d day and gas output to 1.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) a day by 2021.
Last month, Iran hosted leading energy companies from around the world at a conference in Tehran to unveil its new framework for oil and gas contracts and present $30 billion worth of projects to investors.
Catastrophe likely if inventories rise
Del Pino, who is also president of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, warned of a “catastrophe” if oil inventories continue accumulating to record levels, as oil prices keep falling to record lows.
He and Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez met this week with OPEC member representatives in the Venezuelan capital to discuss strategies for shoring up prices.
Del Pino said excess buying has pushed storage utilization to 90% of capacity, with forecasts it could hit 100% in the first quarter of 2016.
“When that happens, we might be at the doors of a catastrophe,” he said.
He reiterated Venezuela’s call for a special summit of heads of state of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers.
Venezuela has been hard hit by the more than halving of global oil prices in the last 18 months.
Oil prices have dropped from more than $100 a barrel in July 2014 due to high output from the United States and key members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC has refused to cut output in response to the price slump.
By Press TV