Iran has right to boost oil output
Tehran, Iran, Feb. 17
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iran's former representative at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Trend Feb. 16 that Iran is an exception among other global producers that are set to freeze oil production.
He said those who increased their output and created the glut in markets should cut production to support prices.
As Russia and OPEC's major producer Saudi Arabia agreed to freeze oil production at the January levels, Iran has announced that it wouldn't abandon its oil output growth plan.
"Iran will never ignore its share in global oil markets," Shana news agency quoted Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh as saying Feb. 16.
Beside Riyadh and Moscow, Doha and Caracas also announced on Feb. 16 during a meeting in Qatar that they agreed to freeze output at the January levels if other major exporters follow the suit.
Khatibi also said that unlike other producers, Iran's oil output has decreased since 2011 due to sanctions.
"Iran has the right to increase its oil output to the pre-sanctions level," he added.
Zanganeh earlier also said, "We heard the meeting of four oil producers in Qatar and their agreement to keep the production level at the January levels, but their decision should be discussed and their goals should be clarified."
Iran was exporting 2.2 million barrels per day of crude oil in 2011, but the volume plunged to around 1 million barrels per day after sanctions.
"The first important thing is that the glut in markets should be removed and the second is that Iran will never refuse to resume its share in markets," he said.
Zanganeh added that Venezuela and Iraq's oil ministers would visit Tehran to discuss the issue on Feb. 17.
The country increased the figure to about 1.4 million barrels per day in January this year and has planed to boost the volume to 2 million barrels per day after March.
Iran says it will increase the oil output by 0.5 million barrels per day in H1 2016, and add the same volume to production level by the end of the current year.