TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s OPEC governor said on Monday OPEC ministers were not due to discuss a possible output rise at a meeting this month in Saudi Arabia but the idea would be raised at a December meeting in the United Arab Emirates.
Hossein Kazempour-Ardebili, in comments carried by the official IRNA news agency, was responding to remarks by Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, who said on Sunday OPEC would discuss an increase in oil output at an upcoming meeting.
OPEC heads of state will meet in Riyadh on November 17-18 and consumer countries are urging the group to lift output to avert a supply crunch. The group’s oil ministers hold their next formal conference on December 5 in Abu Dhabi.
Asked about the Saudi comments, Kazempour-Ardebili said: “The oil ministers of OPEC member states are not due to discuss increasing oil production in Riyadh.”
“He (the Saudi minister) means OPEC is due to discuss (this issue) in its December … session in Abu Dhabi.”
Other officials from OPEC countries have also said the group is not expected to make a formal decision on supply in Riyadh, where Saudi Arabia hosts the group’s third heads of state summit and say they will more likely wait till Abu Dhabi.
Iran has previously said there was enough oil in the market and has blamed the surge in oil prices, which have come close to reaching $100 a barrel this month, on other factors such as tensions in the Middle East.
At a meeting in September, Saudi Arabia persuaded the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, source of more than a third of the world’s oil, to raise output by 500,000 barrels per day from November 1 in a gesture to consumer countries worried about soaring prices and diminishing stocks.
The move failed to prevent crude oil surging to an all-time high of $98.62 a barrel in New York on November 7, a rise from below $80 when the group met in Vienna on September 11.