Iranian MP proposes $65-70 per oil barrel in next year's budget

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 5

By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

A Member of the Planning and Budget Commission of Iranian parliament (Majlis) predicted the country will base its next year's budget on $65-70 per barrel of oil.

Ezatollah Yousefian-Molla said that the next year's budget plan would most probably envisage the exchange rate of 32,000-35,000 rials for one US dollar, Iran's Fars News Agency reported on Nov. 5.

"There are three main numbers in the country's budget bill. One is the country's total oil revenues, and the next two are the price of each barrel of oil and the exchange rate of US dollar," he explained.

"If the real price of oil is less than what is forecast in the budget plan, the country would face budget deficit. But if the market price is more than the predicted one, the surplus would go to the National Development Fund," the MP said.

"I think we can averagely sell one million barrels of oil per day next year," Yousefian-Molla noted, saying that the current figure is around 1.2 million.

National Iranian Oil Company's Director for International Affairs Seyyed Mohsen Qamsari said on October 27 that the best option is to base the next year's budget plan on $70-75 per barrel of oil.

"Current year's figure of $100 per barrel was not our suggestion," he said.

The falling trend of oil prices in the global markets raised some concerns about a possible budget deficit in the current Iranian calendar year (to end March 20, 2015).

The Planning and Budget Commission of Iranian Parliament (Majlis) held an emergency meeting on October 18 to discuss the falling trend of oil prices in the global market and its impact on Iran's budget law.

During the meeting, the commission's members decided that there is no need to amend the budget law.
They said that the possible budget deficit could be managed without any amendments to the budget law.

Iran has decided to sell its crude oil to Asia in November at the biggest discount in almost six years.

The decision was made after Saudi Arabia cut prices for all grades and to all regions for November. Qatar and Iraq decreased their prices.

Iran's current year budget envisages the price of $100 per barrel of oil. This is while each Iranian oil barrel is currently sold at $86, according to Iran's Mehr news agency. The Brent crude, the international benchmark, was also traded at the price of $88.72 on October 16.

Based on Iran's budget law, the country is supposed to export 1.4 million barrels of oil (including gas condensate) per day.

Masoud Mir Kazemi, the head of energy commission in Iran's parliament and former oil minister told Mehr on Oct.17 that according to the Oil Ministry's figures, Iran exported 0.1 mbpd less that the figure considered in the budget law, which will lead to budget deficit.

Iran's media said on Oct. 17 that the country's President Hassan Rouhani ordered the Oil Ministry to take measures to prevent falling of oil prices by using diplomatic leverages. The details of Rouhani's order were not disclosed.

However, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says there is no need for OPEC to hold any emergency meeting. The 166th (ordinary) OPEC meeting is scheduled to be held on Nov.27 in Vienna, according to the OPEC website.

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