TEHRAN, April 18 (Shana) –- Iran’s representative in OPEC’s Board of Governors said Iran supports “any move” that helps stabilize the global crude oil market.
In an exclusive interview with Shana, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said: “The Islamic Republic has not ceased to support the move, however small and late it is, to stabilize the crude oil market, but has insisted that it cannot join the freeze plan before it reaches its production level to the pre-sanctions setting”.
Countries that did whatever they could to derail Iran’s talks with the P5+1 group of countries over Tehran’s nuclear programs came out with a new agenda to prevent the country to regain its rightful oil market share, believing that Iran would be doomed to keep its production at the sanctions’ levels by accepting the freeze plan, he added.
The April 17 conference of OPEC and non-OPEC producers ended without an agreement for freezing crude oil production at January levels.
The meeting ended after 14 hours of intensive talks between member and non-members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Doha, Qatar.
The freeze plan was initiated after a preliminary agreement between Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar to keep their production at January 2016 levels. Following the agreement, dozens of small and big producers voiced their willingness to join the agreement in a bid to curb the nettling oil price slump that keeps bothering the economies of petroleum producers for the past 20 months.
Kazempour said Iran has repeatedly and officially voiced its stance to OPEC and non-OPEC producers which has been endorsed by a majority of them.
“Iran has kept insisting that crude oil oversupply must be shunned,” Kazempour said, adding, “The market shares of Iran and Libya have been usurped by other producers who have denied OPEC’s production quota so that it would never become clear who is violating other members’ rights. They have even added over 2 million barrels per day to inventories of consumers and the market glut cannot become any worse. Now they advise us to endorse the freeze plan and stop trying to regain our market share.
“We support any move aimed at stabilizing the market and encourage joint efforts by OPEC and non-OPEC producers in his regard,” he said.