Iran supports unanimous OPEC output cut plan: Zangeneh

SHANA — Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said the country could support deeper cuts in crude oil output of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) if a majority of the members agreed with it.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Zangeneh said the fever to bring nearer an extraordinary OPEC meeting because of the spread of coronavirus had been reduced, saying there had been talks regarding an early meeting of OPEC ministers ahead of the scheduled meeting in March but the rush to hold the meeting has been reduced so far and the meeting was to be held as scheduled on March 4 and 5 in Vienna, Austria.

“They may reduce the output as much as they would want to,” he said when asked about Iran’s stance on deepening OPEC output cuts.

Zangeneh further said that the amount of cuts by each producer could not be merely viewed mathematically; “rather, each country has its own reasons for reducing its output which is complicated.”

He also voiced Iran’s support for any output reduction agreed by a majority of OPEC member states.

Zangeneh said if an early ministerial meeting was to be held, an agreement had to be made prior to the meeting rather than discussing an agreement during the meeting.

“If there is no prior agreement, it would be futile to attend a meeting without an agreement because this would help lower the oil prices in the global market,” he argued.

Asked about coronavirus and its impact on the global demand for oil, he said: “This virus has lowered the demand, but if the Americans intend to act well, they need to create another crisis and impose sanctions on two more countries so that there would be more room for their (US) oil in the market; I believe whatever the US does is partly aimed at ensuring supply-demand balance in the market so that it would not sell its oil cheap.”

Asked, given the impact of coronavirus on Iran’s biggest buyer of oil, China, how would this impact Iran’s economy, he said, “The impact would not be much. But its effect is felt much more deeply by Saudi and Russian economies.”

Zangeneh was talking to reporters following a signing ceremony between the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and MAPNA group for developing Parsi and Paranj oilfields.

He said the $1.3b contract was planned for a 10-year period but it would reach fruition sooner.

The official also said the project’s investor would bankroll the project, adding the return on investment of the project would be a maximum of 50% from accumulated revenues of the project.

Zangeneh said the two fields had the capacity for enhanced productivity, adding if the developer of the project would propose EOR and IOR schemes for the fields, it could be added to the contract in the future.

This is the first time that NIOC is signing such an upstream contract in the world-class level.

Talks are also going on between NIOC and domestic firms for developing Shadegan Oilfield as well, Zangeneh told reporters.