DUBAI (Reuters) – OPEC is unlikely to change its production ceiling when the group meets in June, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
“Lowering OPEC’s production ceiling requires consensus between all members … under current conditions it seems unlikely that the OPEC production ceiling will change,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying.
Last month, Zanganeh said the producing group should cut its target daily crude production by at least 5 percent, or approximately 1.5 million barrels per day.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on June 5. At its last meeting in November, OPEC, led by oil kingpin Saudi Arabia, decided against cutting output to defend its market share, resisting calls by some members such as Iran and Venezuela to reduce production to shore up prices.
Brent oil <LCOc1> settled down $1.17, or 1.8 percent, at $65.37 a barrel on Friday. [O/R]
Lower oil prices have caused pain for OPEC’s less wealthy producers, including Iran. While the June 5 meeting in Vienna is likely to hear renewed demands from some OPEC members for a reduction in the amount of oil pumped, even officials from countries which favor a curb see it as unlikely.
Iran wants other OPEC members to make way for a rise in its exports if it succeeds in reaching a final deal with six world powers over its nuclear program. A deadline for agreement on the nuclear issue falls on June 30.
(Reporting by Sam Wilkin; writing by Rania El Gamal; editing by Susan Fenton and David Clarke)