Iran Sees Better OPEC Climate

Iran Sees Better OPEC ClimateIran Sees Better OPEC Climate

Relations among OPEC members have improved after several acrimonious meetings, as the oil-producing group accepts Iran’s revival of crude output, the Iranian oil minister said.

“We had a meeting without any tension and because of the new atmosphere in OPEC, we could reach some agreements like about the appointment of the new secretary-general,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh also said in an interview in Vienna on Friday, a day after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries met there, Bloomberg reported.

The upbeat comments—together with similar statements by Saudi Arabia—suggest that OPEC is moving beyond a period in which its two most important members found themselves at loggerheads over a production freeze plan.

The group agreed on Thursday to name Mohammed Barkindo of Nigeria their new chief. They also decided to stick to a policy of unfettered production, with ministers united in their optimism that global oil markets are improving.

“We should work with each other; we are neighbors; we are counterparts in OPEC,” Zanganeh said, referring to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab states.

However, Iran is still insisting that OPEC should return to individual country production quotas and Saudi Arabia favoring an overall output ceiling that was scrapped in December.

Since international sanctions were eased in January, Iran has lifted oil production to a four-year high of 3.8 million barrels a day and aims for 4 million bpd by the end of the year, Zanganeh said.

“I think all accepted the reality of the market and accepted the return of Iran to the market,” Zanganeh said.  The official added that a healthy energy market has absorbed Iran’s rising production.

“Iran is planning to boost output to 4.8 million barrels a day within five years and rising global demand can easily absorb the extra supply,” he said.