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Boasting About Oil Exports, Iran Says OPEC Needs Cooperation To Boost Prices

Just two days after saying that Iran can now sell as much oil as it wants to any country it “deems appropriate”, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that OPEC members need to continue dialogue and cooperation in order to stabilize the market and lift crude oil prices.

Speaking over the phone with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, Iran’s Rouhani said that oil producers should try to enforce all agreements within the first half of 2017, state news agency IRNA reported today.

Iran plans to back market stability and support a rise in crude oil prices—apparently while pumping however much oil it wants to—the president said, noting that non-OPEC producers also have an important role to play in the full implementation of the agreements reached.

Iran has been quite smug since OPEC said last week it reached a deal to cut collective output to 32.5 million bpd, which allowed Iran to ramp up production to 3.797 million barrels per day.

OPEC’s detailed planned production levels and reference output levels for the cuts place Iran’s output effective January 2017 at 3.797 million bpd, and despite the discrepancy with the reference level figure, these 3.797 million bpd are higher than Iran’s October output of 3.69 million bpd as reported by OPEC secondary sources. No other OPEC producer has been allowed to increase output (with Libya and Nigeria exempt due to civil unrest and militant violence, respectively).

Iran has been celebrating the OPEC deal, with Rouhani praising the “success in oil diplomacy”, as the oil ministry’s news service Shana reports.

Apart from walking away without having to make any cuts, Iran is probably celebrating more the fact that its diplomacy did indeed made its bitter regional rival Saudi Arabia and the Saudis’ Gulf Arab allies shoulder most of the cuts OPEC is pledging to make.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s President Maduro expressed happiness over the success of both countries in OPEC, and said that agreement between oil producing countries in Vienna was a victory for all members.

History shows, however, that OPEC is grand on commitments but bad in implementing them.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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