TEHRAN (AFP) -Iran’s oil minister has predicted OPEC would not need to make a further cut in crude oil production at the cartel’s next meeting in March, as long as the price of crude remains stable.
“If the oil price remains at current levels, there will probably be no need for a cut at the meeting in March,” Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh was quoted by the ISNA agency as saying on the sidelines of an oil conference on Saturday.
“At the moment prices are going up, so the OPEC price basket is above 50 dollars” a barrel, he commented.
“But if the upward trend of prices were to change, some other options would definitely be examined,” said Vaziri Hamaneh, whose country is OPEC’s second largest producer.
His remarks are broadly in line with comments by the oil minister of OPEC’s number one producer Saudi Arabia, who said the cartel might not need to change its oil output quotas at the March 15 Vienna meeting if market conditions continue.
“If you are asking me are we going to take additional cuts or increase supply, I do not know,” Ali al-Nuaimi told the Wall Street Journal.
“But, most probably if the trend is like what it is like today, with the market getting in much, much better health and balance, there may not be any reason to change.”
At its last meeting in December, OPEC decided to cut production by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from February 1, following a reduction of 1.2 million bpd in November.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, on Friday gained 1.40 dollars to 59.39 dollars a barrel.
In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude for April delivery climbed 1.35 dollar to 58.95 dollars a barrel.