Nigeria, Iran Battle for OPEC's No. 2 Position

Iran retains its position as the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, despite a recent OPEC report that Nigeria moved from the organization's third to second place, OPEC Governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said.

OPECs' Annual Statistical Bulletin had put Nigeria ahead of Iran, but Iranian experts said they were examining the report, This Day newspaper reported.

Khatibi contended that OPEC's rankings were not based on export but determined by production data, commenting, "OPEC rationing is based on production, not export, and Iran still holds the second-largest OPEC producer status and no change has happened in this regard. In the report, Iran's oil income exceeds that of Nigeria in 2010. Then how would it be possible for Nigeria's oil income to be less than that of Iran despite having boosted its exports?"

Khatibi added that Iranian experts had found ambiguities in some of the figures in the OPEC report and accordingly the Iranian analysts "did not confirm Nigeria's export increase."

Reserves are one of the criteria OPEC has used to set output targets. Iran and Iraq were rivals in the past over OPEC quotas and OPEC in the next few years is expected to address the issue of bringing Iraq back into the quota system, from which it is currently exempted.

(The original article appears at


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