TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran, OPEC’s second largest oil producer, said yesterday it does not foresee any change in the cartel’s output ceiling being decided on at the September 11 meeting in Vienna.
“It seems that the current OPEC production is enough and that at the next meeting the current ceiling will be kept,” caretaker Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
On August 13, a day after Nozari’s appointment by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had replaced the oil minister in a surprise decree, a ministry official told AFP that Tehran’s policy towards OPEC would not change.
In one of his final statements as oil minister, Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said last month that Iran firmly opposed a hike in OPEC’s crude oil output to keep oil prices down.
There had growing calls from consumers for an increase in production after the price of crude rose to record highs of just under 80 dollars a barrel.
However Vaziri Hamaneh attributed surging oil prices to political concerns and a shortage of petrol in the United States during the summer holiday season, and said they were unrelated to OPEC quotas.
At its last regular meeting in March, OPEC decided to keep its official production quota at 25.8 million barrels of oil per day.