Iran conditionally endorses OPEC meeting date change

MNA – Iran’s oil minister has disagreed with a plan to postpone an upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), saying Iran would confirm rescheduling the upcoming meeting only if it was to be held on July 10-12 from originally June 25.

Bijan Namdar Zanganeh voiced his conditional agreement with the date change after a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Tehran on Monday.

Zanganeh said, “For the time, the 176th meeting is slated to be held on the original date (June 25) and I disagree with changing the date to July 3 and 4 because of being busy.”

“If the OPEC meeting is held on July 10-12, I would have no problem with it and will participate in the meeting,” he added.

Previously, Iran had told OPEC that it opposed delaying the oil producer group’s next meeting.

Changing the dates would require unanimity.

In December 2018, OPEC and its allies, also known as OPEC+, agreed to reduce total supply by 1.2 million barrels per day from Jan. 1.

OPEC’s share of the cut is 800,000 bpd, to be delivered by 11 members – all except Iran, Libya and Venezuela.

The Iranian minister further said that enhancing cooperation in the development of the oil and gas sector was one of the key highlights of his meeting with his Russian counterpart, and added that there were good talks on the issue of gas exports, and that some Russian companies were ready to participate in this field.

The global crude oil market was another focus of the meeting, he said, adding, “I have clearly said that the oil market is influenced by political will and the media outlets controlled by the Americans and the Zionists are disturbing the market.”

“The oil market is in a volatile, fragile and unstable state, and we ought to be careful about the market conditions; some of our neighbors in the region are also disturbing the market, which would not benefit anyone in the short or long term.”

Zanganeh said that both Iran and Russia were targeted by the sanctions in various sectors of their oil industry, adding, “The current market conditions are not in the best interest of anyone and they should be taken care of, and I will outline these issues at the upcoming OPEC meeting.”

He also touched on the issue of Gazprom’s cooperation with Pakistan to complete its share of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, saying there had been talks but no decisions had so far been made in this regard.