Iran explains reasons for not calling for OPEC emergency meeting

Tehran, Iran, Nov.20

By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says Tehran hasn't demanded holding an emergency meeting of OPEC to decrease the Cartel's oil output, because the "grounds" have not be prepared for it.

Namdar said during a live TV speech on Nov.19 that Venezuela has already asked for OPEC's urgent meeting, but faced the scorn of other members.

"The grounds was not ready and some OPEC members were keen to preserve their share in global markets, so appealing for an emergency meeting didn't make sense," Iran's oil minister said on a Cannel Five broadcast program at Wednesday night.

Oil prices have experienced a decline since July, which accelerated in October. OPEC oil basket price has dropped from about $108 in mid-July to $74.36 per a barrel in Nov.18.

Iran hasn't called for an urgent meeting of the 12 OPEC members prior to Nov.27, the date when an ordinary OPEC meeting is scheduled.

According to OPEC's latest monthly report, the 12 members of the cartel decreased oil output by 226,400 barrels to 30.253 million barrels per day, while the ceiling level of oil output should have been at 30 million barrels per day due to the agreement among the members.

On the other hand, OPEC says that the demand for OPEC crude is estimated at 29.5 mbpd in 2014. In 2015, the figure is estimated to reach 29.2 mbpd.

Zanganeh says that OPEC's 50 year-history shows that the members always united against threats finally, but it seems some members haven't consider the falling of oil prices as a threat, or doesn't want to lose their share in international markets by cutting the output.

Iran's yearly budget is based on a $100/barrel oil price.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told Trend on Nov.13 that Iran will exchange information with the other 11 members to evaluate the situation and make a decision as to how OPEC can stabilize the oil prices.

"I think OPEC members are at a maturity level that can take important measures in sensitive situations, in favor of the members' interests," he underlined.

Zangeneh has negotiated with Kuwait, Venezuela, the United Arab Emirate, Iraq and Qatar officials during last weeks. He said that for next year's budget, the oil price should be recognized at below $80/barrel.

The Iranian oil minister mentioned that Iran's oil exports have dropped from 2.5 million to barrels per day in 2011 to around one million barrels per day nowadays due to imposed western sanctions, but in case the sanctions are eliminated, Tehran can double the current oil export volume.

You can follow him on Twitter @dalgakhatinoglu.

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