MOSCOW

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

OPEC Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ab­dul­lah ElBadri said on Thurs­day the oil pro­duc­ers car­tel is not plan­ning to cut pro­duc­tion de­spite the fall in crude prices over re­cent months and con­cerns about the pos­si­ble ad­di­tion of Ira­nian oil in the mar­ket. "We met in De­cem­ber last year and we met in June this year. We de­cided to keep our pro­duc­tion at 30 mil­lion bar­rels a day, the same as be­fore. We are not ready to re­duce our pro­duc­tion," Badri said af­ter a meet­ing in Moscow with Rus­sia s energy min­is­ter.

Oil prices re­cently dropped to their low­est lev­els in months on the back of con­cerns over a global over­sup­ply. The fall fol­lowed a re­cov­ery in prices af­ter a steep slump last year. Prices con­tin­ued a slight re­bound on Thurs­day fol­low­ing re­ports of a drop in US stock­piles. OPEC and Rus­sia said in a joint state­ment af­ter Thurs­day s talks that in­di­ca­tors pointed to a pos­si­ble "more bal­anced sit­u­a­tion on the oil mar­ket and its sta­bil­i­sa­tion" in 2016.

An­a­lysts have said that the re­turn of oil from Iran fol­low­ing the land­mark nu­clear energy deal with world pow­ers this month could cre­ate fresh ten­sions within OPEC. The ac­cord paves the way for the re­moval of sanc­tions and the grad­ual re­turn of Ira­nian oil to the global mar­ket next year.

The Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Petroleum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries -- whose 12 mem­bers in­clud­ing Iran pump one third of global oil -- is mind­ful that Ira­nian oil could worsen a global sup­ply glut and de­press oil prices fur­ther.

Badri, how­ever, in­sisted that OPEC wel­comed the lift­ing of sanc­tions on Iran and would be able to cope with any in­creased vol­umes. "We are re­ally happy that sanc­tions are on their way to be over for Iran. Now we don t have any coun­try un­der sanc­tions in our or­gan­i­sa­tion," he told jour­nal­ists. "I think the quan­tity that is in ques­tion, I think our group will ac­com­mo­date them."

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