TEHRAN(Reuters) – OPEC would hold an “emergency meeting” if oil prices were to fall, Iran’s oil minister was quoted as saying in comments published on Saturday, speaking after the oil cartel’s March 15 meeting in Vienna.
“If oil prices in international markets go down, certainly OPEC will make new decisions by holding an emergency meeting,” Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said, Iran’s Jahan-e Eqtesad newspaper reported.
“If prices stay the same, on the current level, OPEC will not make new decisions,” he said on Friday. The minister did not give details on what kind of oil price declines would prompt OPEC to hold an emergency meeting.
Oil deepened losses below $58 a barrel on Friday on worries about a wobbly U.S. economy, with OPEC’s widely-expected decision on Thursday to keep oil output curbs having little impact.
At its meeting, OPEC agreed to keep oil output restraints in place, balancing rapidly declining oil stocks in consumer countries against the risk recent selling in share markets could herald an economic downturn.
OPEC, which pumps over a third of the world’s oil, had agreed cuts totalling 1.7 million barrels per day, or six percent of supplies, at its previous two meetings.
Ministers were concerned that two waves of selling on global equity markets this year could presage a bigger sell-off that would hurt economic growth and oil demand.
OPEC President and United Arab Emirates’ Oil Minister Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli may convene another meeting in June, three months before the next scheduled meeting, if necessary.