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Iran: OPEC Committee Tried To Redistribute Oil Quotas

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Iran is calling out the joint OPEC/non-OPEC committee tasked with monitoring the collective production deal, saying that the committee tried to redistribute oil production quotas among some OPEC members or tried to handover compliance at some OPEC members over to non-OPEC participants in the deal.  

At its meeting on July 18, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) composed of six members of the oil production pact from both OPEC and non-OPEC countries, was tasked to monitor—as usual—the implementation of the production deal, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in a letter to the UAE Energy Minister and current OPEC president Suhail Al Mazrouei.  

“To our dismay we witnessed that some members attempted to redistribute over-conformity in production adjustment level among themselves, and attempts to hand over OPEC countries’ over-conformity to non-OPEC countries,” Zanganeh said in the letter, whose copy was carried by Iran’s oil ministry’s news service Shana.

“This very procedure is totally in contradiction with the monitoring task of both JMMC and JTC, and indicates misinterpretation by the JMMC over its mandate, as well as disregard for the decision of the 174th Meeting of the OPEC Conference,” said Zanganeh.

Iran will call an extraordinary meeting if the joint committee “has a different understanding from the decision of the above-mentioned Conference,” the Iranian minister said.

Iran’s take on OPEC meeting in June is that the cartel didn’t specify any figure for a production increase, and a production boost is an interpretation of some other members of the oil exporting group.

Related: Oil Falls Despite Crude Inventory Draw

Analysts had expected that a holdout Iran would not agree to any specific production boost, and therefore, any official OPEC statement—if Iran was to be convinced not to break up unanimity in the group—would be vague as regards production figures, which it was.

Saudi Arabia interprets the vague OPEC statement to ease compliance rates as implying that there will be indirectly a reallocation of quotas within the cartel. Iran, the main Saudi rival in the Middle East, strongly disagrees that OPEC members should be allowed to make up for production losses in other nations and has criticized Saudi Arabia for the boost in production.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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