By: Agence France-Presse
VIENNA, Austria — Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on Wednesday rejected suggestions OPEC would agree a production cap at a meeting in Vienna, saying his country backed a return to a national quota system.
Tehran, which only recently returned to world oil markets after Western sanctions were lifted, has opposed any attempt to limit output to support weak crude prices.
Iran stayed away from a disastrous meeting in Doha on April 4 between OPEC and other major producers, including Russia, who failed to agree a coordinated output freeze.
Zanganeh said a production cap would be “no benefit” for Iran — or for the other members of the cartel, which pumps around a third of the world’s oil.
“One of our main ideas is to have country quotas, but I don’t think we can reach an agreement on this subject at this meeting,” the minister said as he arrived in the Austrian capital ahead of the meeting, starting Thursday.
Iran exported just over two million barrels of oil every day last month, and Zanganeh predicted that would soon double as the country is currently producing some 3.8 million barrels a day.
Instead, he said the meeting would focus on choosing a new OPEC secretary general to replace the Libyan Abdalla El-Badri.
Candidates to succeed him include Ali Rodriguez Araque of Venezuela, Nigeria’s Mohammed Barkindo and Mahendra Siregar of Indonesia, reports said.
“The main item on our agenda at this meeting is choosing the new secretary general for OPEC,” Zanganeh said.