TEHRAN (AFP) – OPEC may cut oil production again if global demand for crude continues to fall in the near future, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran’s representative in the group, said on Monday.
“If demand continues to fall until the next meeting of OPEC, a further output cut is possible,” Khatibi was quoted as saying by Iranian daily Hamshahri.
The next meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is on May 28.
OPEC has reduced its oil production target by an overall 4.2 million barrels per day since September to 24.84 million bpd, the lowest level since just after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
On Sunday, Iran’s Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said the reductions adopted by OPEC up to now have helped stop prices from falling further in the past few months.
Iran, OPEC’s second largest crude producer, favours a global oil price of between 75 and 80 dollars a barrel.
Oil prices hit a peak above 147 dollars in July last year but have fluctuated this year between 40 and 55 dollars.
OPEC has said it sees 75 dollars as the price at which investment in exploration and production becomes profitable.
On Monday, oil prices eased with New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for May delivery, shedding 99 cents to 51.25 dollars a barrel in the afternoon Asian trade.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May fell 57 cents to 53.49 dollars.