Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh (file photo)

Iran describes OPEC compliance with oil cuts as ‘acceptable’

Reuters– OPEC’s level of compliance with production cuts in January has been acceptable, Iran’s oil minister said on Monday, expressing hope for further cooperation from non-OPEC members in the near future.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Nov. 30 to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to 32.5 million bpd for the first six months of 2017, in addition to 558,000 bpd of cuts agreed to by producers such as Russia, Oman and Mexico.

“OPEC members’ level of compliance to cut oil production in January has been acceptable and we predict more cooperation from the non-OPEC members in near future,” Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

He added that Iran’s level of production has reached 3.9 million bpd in February.

Zanganeh also said that Iran will launch before the beginning of the new Iranian year (March 20) its first tender for foreign investment to develop the Azadegan oilfield but added that the tender will not be public and will be limited to only a few companies.

Iran’s first new-style tender since the lifting of sanctions has been postponed several times for unspecified reasons.

OPEC’s third-biggest oil producer hopes its new Iran Petroleum Contracts (IPCs) will draw foreign companies and boost output after years of under-investment. But foreign firms have so far made little inroads into the country despite the lifting of sanctions.

Zanganeh dismissed reports that U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough stance against Tehran has made foreign firms more cautious to invest in the energy sector.

“No company has slowed down its negotiations with Iran,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by David Goodman and David Evans)