Iran's Oil Minister to Join OPEC Talks on Market in Algeria
(Bloomberg) - Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh will join an informal meeting of OPEC members next month in Algiers, a state news service reported, ending uncertainty about whether OPEC’s third-biggest producer would participate.
Producers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on the sidelines of an energy policy group in the Algerian capital next month to consider conditions in the oil market, OPEC’s president, Qatar’s minister Mohammed Al Sada, said on Aug. 8. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter, is working “to restore balance between supply and demand to support oil prices,” and OPEC and non-members will discuss potential steps in Algiers to stabilize markets, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Aug. 13.
“I will participate in this meeting,” Iran’s Zanganeh was cited as saying by the oil ministry’s news service Shana. Zanganeh had not previously committed to attending the meeting, and he didn’t comment on the position Iran will take at the talks. Zanganeh also said he will meet with OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo “in the near future.”
Crude oil has gained about 11 percent since OPEC said it would meet informally to discuss prices and supply, on speculation that the group could agree to freeze output levels. Benchmark Brent crude was trading near $49 a barrel on Thursday in London.
A meeting of OPEC and other producing countries in April ended without agreement in Doha when Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran be part of the any deal to limit output. Iran had ruled out a ceiling on its production until it recovered the output levels it had before the U.S. and European Union tightened international sanctions on its oil industry in 2012.
Iran’s production has risen to 3.85 million barrels a day since sanctions were eased in January, Zanganeh said this month, still less than its target for the end of this year of 4 million barrels a day. OPEC as a whole has boosted output to record levels since adopting a Saudi-led decision in 2014 to protect the group’s global market share by forcing out higher-cost producers.
The International Energy Forum, comprising 73 countries that account for about 90 percent of the global supply and demand for oil and natural gas, will meet in Algiers on Sept. 26-28.
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