Iran blames high US output for falling oil prices
Iran has blamed a recent rise in US oil production for the plunge in global prices of crude oil.
Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters on Wednesday that the US had increased its oil production by 900,000 barrels per day. This, he said, was way beyond what the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had estimated.
Zanganeh said he was already discussing the role of high US oil production in the decline of prices. However, he said it would be difficult to prepare the member states for any collective action on such issues.
The Iranian minister further spoke highly of OPEC’s performance in arriving at a consensus to cut output and help prop up prices.
He said the output cut plan was just to show its effects, adding that it was still too soon to judge its effectiveness.
OPEC in a meeting in May agreed to extend until March 2018 an oil output cut deal that was sealed last year to help shore up prices.
The cuts would lower the collective production of producers by 1.8 million barrels per day (mb/d).
A dozen non-members led by top oil producer Russia, which reduced output in tandem with OPEC, would also join the scheme.
OPEC members Nigeria and Libya would still be excluded from cuts as their output remained curbed by unrest.
Iran would also be allowed to keep its oil production by 3.8 mb/d over the next nine months. The country has been exempted from the existing six-month oil output cut deal.