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Iran: Most OPEC Producers Back Extension Of Cuts

Iran oil

The majority of OPEC members are in favor of the cartel extending the oil production cuts, but a final decision will be made at the highly-anticipated meeting on November 30, according to Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.

“The majority of members support the extension of the plan, but the final decision should be taken at the next OPEC meeting,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Monday.

According to the Iranian oil minister, if OPEC extends the cuts, it will also extend the exemption for Iran not to curb its production.

In the initial pact sealed last year, Iran was allowed to slightly raise its oil production compared to October 2016 levels, and cap it a just below 3.8 million bpd for the duration of the deal.

According to Shana, the news service of Iran’s oil ministry, OPEC members are “almost unanimous” in extending the production cuts beyond their current expiry date of March 2018.

“Most proposals concern extension of the output cut plan but the final decision will be made at the upcoming meeting of OPEC members,” Zanganeh said on Monday.

The comments from the Iranian minister suggest that currently not all OPEC members are on board with an extension.

After oil prices rallied in the past few weeks, a growing number of analysts and investment banks have started questioning OPEC’s resolve to continue to stick to the deal now that Brent oil prices are above $60, instead of looking to cash in on the higher oil prices and break the unusually strong overall compliance. Related: Musk’s “Hardcore Smack-Down” To Gasoline Vehicles

Last week, OPEC’s Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said that the production cuts were the “only viable option” that would bring stability back to the oil market. UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, for his part, said that OPEC members were expected to unanimously decide to extend the production cuts at the Vienna meeting next week, but the duration of the extension was still under negotiation.

The timing of the communication of an extension has also been subject to speculation in recent weeks. Now OPEC and friends have just over a week to continue dropping hints and playing the market until an actual announcement on the cuts comes on November 30.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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