Iranian Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said that Tehran would not restrain its oil output as part of a global pact to freeze production to prop prices, Oil and Gas News reported, following a meeting with oil ministers from Qatar, Iraq, and Venezuela held in Tehran in mid February.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) ministers failed to persuade Iran to join the first global oil pact in 15 years. Iran has made it clear that it seeks to recapture the market share it had lost during years of economic sanctions.
Zanganeh said that Iran “supports any effort to stabilize the market and prices,” however, “asking Iran to freeze its oil production level is illogical,” Huffington Post wrote. As he noted, “when Iran was under sanctions, some countries raised their output and they caused the drop in oil prices. How can they expect Iran to cooperate now and pay the price?”
In addition, Iranian Oil Minister reiterated that Tehran was seeking to increase its crude output by 1mb/d this year, reaching to the pre-sanctions levels, after economic sanctions were lifted in January.
Oman’s Oil Minister, Mohammad bin Hamad bin Saif Al-Rumhi, supported Iran’s ambition saying that the Islamic Republic must be exempted from the plan, PressTV reported. He also highlighted that the sanctions had harmed Iran’s exports and the country had a right to increase its output, International Business Times informed.
Other countries are also supportive of Iran’s decision. The Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, Emmanuel Kachikwu, stated that countries like Iran and Iraq that had been out of the market for a long time should be exempted from the oil output freeze agreement.
Previously, two of the world’s top exporters – non-OPEC Russia and the group’s leader Saudi Arabia reached a preliminary agreement to freeze output, however, it failed to push up oil prices.