Oil could rise to $55 if all pro­duc­ers co­op­er­ate: Iran

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

DUBAI: Ira­nian Oil Min­is­ter Bi­jan Zan­ganeh ex­pressed op­ti­mism yes­ter­day about an up­com­ing OPEC meet­ing and said crude prices could jump to $55 a bar­rel if an agree­ment is reached and non-OPEC pro­duc­ers co­op­er­ate.

“We are re­ceiv­ing pos­i­tive sig­nals that in­crease the like­li­hood of agree­ment at the meet­ing ... and I’m op­ti­mistic about the sit­u­a­tion,” Zan­ganeh told state tele­vi­sion by tele­phone, af­ter meet­ing OPEC Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral Mo­hammed Barkindo in Tehran ahead of the Nov 30 meet­ing.

“I think if we can reach an agree­ment, God will­ing, the price would rapidly reach above $50 per bar­rel ... If non-OPEC (pro­duc­ers) also co­op­er­ate, I don’t think $55 per bar­rel would be out of reach.” Bench­mark Brent crude rose by 37 cents to $46.86 per bar­rel on Fri­day. Asked about an OPEC pro­posal for an out­put cap of 3.92 mil­lion bar­rels per day for Iran, Zan­ganeh said: “We have not reached any agree­ment. We have ex­pressed our views and we look for­ward to ex­plain­ing them.”

The Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Petroleum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries is mov­ing closer to­wards fi­nal­is­ing its first deal since 2008 to limit oil out­put, with most mem­bers pre­pared to of­fer Iran sig­nif­i­cant flex­i­bil­ity on pro­duc­tion vol­umes, min­is­ters and sources said on Fri­day. Iran has been the main stum­bling block for such a deal be­cause Tehran wants ex­emp­tions as it tries to re­gain oil mar­ket share af­ter the eas­ing of West­ern sanc­tions in Jan­uary.

Mean­while, Iraq’s ex­ports from the Kirkuk oil field through an ex­port pipe­line to Turkey have dropped be­cause of power out­ages, an of­fi­cial at state-run North Oil Co said yes­ter­day. Ex­port are cur­rently run­ning at 100,000 bar­rels per day (bpd), com­pared with 133,000 bpd in Oc­to­ber, the of­fi­cial said.

The pipe­line de­liv­ers crude to Turk­ish ter­mi­nal of Cey­han, on the Mediter­ranean. It also car­ries crude pro­duced in fields de­vel­oped by the Kur­dis­tan Regional Gov­ern­ment (KRG), an au­ton­o­mous re­gion in north Iraq. OPEC’s sec­ond-largest pro­ducer af­ter Saudi Ara­bia, Iraq ex­ports most of its oil through the south­ern ports, on the Gulf.

To­tal ex­ports for Septem­ber, in­clud­ing the KRG, were 3.871 mil­lion bpd, of which 3.276 mil­lion bpd were shipped from the south­ern ports, ac­cord­ing to the last fig­ures pub­lished by the na­tion’s state-oil mar­keter SOMO, in Oc­to­ber.

North Oil re­sumed ex­ports through the Kur­dish-con­trolled pipe­line in Au­gust, af­ter a five-month halt caused by a dis­pute on oil rev­enue shar­ing be­tween Bagh­dad and the KRG. — Reuters

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