Oil minister: Iran backs OPEC moves geared toward stability


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s oil minister says his country would support any decision by the oil producing group of nations that seeks to stabilize the oil market, Iranian state TV reported on Tuesday.

The remarks by the minister, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, came after talks with OPEC chief Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo on Tuesday in Tehran.

According to Zangeneh, most OPEC members want to see the price of crude oil at 50 to 60 dollars per barrel.

“This price makes production of oil by OPEC members profitable, economical and useful, while preventing the rivals from raising their output,” he said,

The official IRNA news agency reported later Tuesday that President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with Barkindo that Iran has a key and constructive role in the OPEC.

“All OPEC members should follow a coordinated just path to resolve problems,” Rouhani said. “We hope that with prudence, cooperation and coordination among OPEC members, the oil market will be stabilized with fair prices.”

Iran is trying to regain its share of the global petroleum market after the removal of Western sanctions following Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. It has said it will participate in talks on a possible production freeze after it reaches an output of 4 million barrels per day by April 2017.

In late 2000s, Iran was the second producer in OPEC with a total production of 4.2 million barrels per day, with 2.5 million barrels exported. The current production is at 3.6 million barrels of oil a day, of which Tehran exports 2.2 million barrels a day.

The world’s two largest oil producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, on Monday agreed to act together to stabilize global oil output, though it’s unclear what that might entail.

Russia, which is not a member of the oil producing nations’ group OPEC, this year supported calls to freeze production, but the efforts fell through after Iran opposed the plan.

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