Iran Urges OPEC To Stop Oil Slide, Gulf Members Relaxed

Reuters

DUBAI/LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Iran on Friday urged OPEC members to make joint efforts to keep oil prices from falling further, highlighting a split with other members such as Saudi Arabia who face lower budget pressures despite a slide in prices towards $95 a barrel.

Oil has fallen from $115 in June, pressured by concern about slowing global demand and higher supplies as Libyan output recovers, raising concern among some oil exporters of lower revenues.

"Considering the downward trend in prices, OPEC members should try to temper production to avoid further price instability", Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, was quoted by the Iranian oil ministry website Shana as saying.

Iran has among the highest oil-price needs within the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and often supports measures likely to boost prices. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf OPEC producers have lower pain thresholds.

But OPEC's Gulf Arab producers, so far, remain unruffled. Saudi Arabia's oil minister, in New York this week, appeared to downplay the price drop, while delegates have stopped short of calling for price-supporting action.

"I am still relaxed," said a delegate from one of OPEC's Gulf members this week, referring to the oil market situation.

Besides lower-than-expected demand, a key factor behind the drop in prices has been a recovery in Libyan output to around 925,000 barrels per day (bpd) now from just 200,000 bpd in June.


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