Zangeneh warns of oil investment drought
Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran is not satisfied with current oil prices after OPEC decided to maintain production levels unchanged at its Friday meeting in Vienna.
“We are not satisfied with the current oil price. OPEC members must cooperate to adjust it and agree on a fair price in order to satisfy all members,” he said.
“The existing price will make investors unable to invest in oil rich countries,” he added.
Zangeneh offered a calibrated answer when asked whether OPEC had made a wise decision.
“What is important for OPEC is that there should be interaction in order to reach maturity in cooperation,” he said.
“Members must continue cooperation in order to bolster the organization’s power. It’s also very important that we don’t embroil OPEC in a crisis at the time of a challenge,” Zangeneh said.
On Friday, the group ignored a global supply glut and low prices for the second time in six months as it kept overall output level unchanged at 30 million barrels a day.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would typically cut production to support prices but some members have been falling in line with Saudi Arabia to produce at full throttle, sending prices into a tailspin.
Oil prices have recovered from their January low of $50 a barrel to trade around $62. Zangeneh said most OPEC members agree on $75 a barrel as being a “fair” price.
The minister also underlined Iran’s plan to ramp up its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) within two months and 1 million bpd within six to seven months after sanctions are voided.
“I wrote a letter to OPEC member countries. It is our right to return to the market,” he said.
Zangeneh said other members would cut production to make room for Iran’s return to its former levels which would not lead to a new drop in oil prices.