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Zanganeh Hopes OPEC Will Not Follow US Diktat
Energy

Zanganeh Hopes OPEC Will Not Follow US Diktat

Iran Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday he hoped decisions taken by the Joint OPEC-non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) would not be affected by US President Donald Trump’s tweets on oil producers.

“I hope (Trump’s) threats will not scare my OPEC colleagues and encourage them to carry out America’s orders,” said Zanganeh who did not attend the JMMC gathering in Algeria, Reuters reported.

Zanganeh was referring to a tweet by Trump in which he linked US support for Middle East Arab countries to oil prices on Thursday and again urged OPEC to lower prices.

“In my opinion, Trump’s statement is the biggest insult to US-friendly states and nations in the region,” the minister added.

The JMMC comprised of ministers from OPEC and allied oil producers and chaired by Saudis, met on Sunday to discuss the implementation of a recently-agreed production boost of 1 million barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters in Algiers he does not influence oil prices, just two days after Trump called on OPEC to bring down the cost of fuel.

Benchmark Brent oil reached $80 a barrel this month, prompting Trump to reiterate on Thursday his demand that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries lower prices.

The price rally mainly stemmed from a decline in oil exports from OPEC member Iran due to fresh US sanctions.

Falih said Saudi Arabia had spare capacity to increase oil output but no such move was needed at the moment.

“My information is that the markets are adequately supplied. I do not know of any refiner in the world who is looking for oil and is not able to get it,” Falih said.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said no immediate output increase was necessary, although he believed a trade war between China and the United States as well as US sanctions on Iran were creating new challenges for oil markets.

 

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