Before OPEC members sat down to wrangle about production quotas and compliance on Thursday, the oil minister of Iran—exempted from the ongoing cuts because of the U.S. sanctions crippling its production and economy—said that the Islamic Republic would not agree to any cuts in the future, once the sanctions are removed.
“Speaking on behalf of the Iranian nation, I would say this is the right of our people and nation and I would not agree with cutting even a barrel of oil for illogical reasons,” Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh told reporters before the OPEC meeting on Thursday, which dragged on for hours as members were discussing how to divide the 500,000 bpd deeper cut that the monitoring panel had suggested earlier in the day.
Iran, which has seen its own crude oil production drop from 3.5 million bpd to around 2 million bpd in recent months because of the U.S. sanctions, believes that those countries which pump more today should cut deeper in the future.
“Currently, our oil has been driven out of the market and those who have more output must undergo deeper cuts in the future,” the oil minister said, as carried by Iranian oil ministry’s news service Shana.
“No one must expect Iran to reduce its output in the wake of eased sanctions in the future,” Zangeneh added.
The minister told reporters that he had sent a letter to the president of the OPEC meetings this year, asking him “to inform other OPEC members that Iran has involuntarily reduced its output and produced less than its historical quota.”
“Those who produce more oil must cut their output deeper,” Zangeneh added.
OPEC and its non-OPEC partners are currently meeting in Vienna to ratify the 500,000-bpd cut for the first quarter of 2020, while at the time of writing, there were no details yet on new quotas for each individual member of the OPEC+ pact.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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