Iran urges Opec to cut oil output to raise prices to $70-$80

This comes as the country prepares to ramp up production in the aftermath of economic sanctions.

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Opec member states should cut crude output to boost prices to a range of $70 to $80 a barrel, Iran’s oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, even as his country prepares to ramp up production in the aftermath of economic sanctions.

“No one is happy” with prices at current levels, Mr Zanganeh told reporters in Tehran. “Opec should decide to manage the market by reducing the level of production.” Mr Zanganeh said he doesn’t expect the producer group to decide to scale back output when its ministers meet next in December.

Opec has exceeded its official production target for 16 consecutive months as the group seeks to defend sales amid a global supply glut. Brent crude, a global benchmark, has slumped 42 per cent in the past 12 months and was at $49.73 a barrel in London at 10.34am local time. Opec, supplier of about 40 per cent of the world’s oil, plans to assess output when ministers from its 12 members meet on December 4 in Vienna.

Iran is pushing to regain the global oil sales it lost after the US and other world powers imposed sanctions over its nuclear programme. The country agreed in July to accept limits on its nuclear work in return for access to oil and financial markets.

It is seeking $100 billion in investment by March 2021 to increase output of oil and natural gas, Mr Zanganeh said. Iran has the world’s fourth-largest reserves of oil and second-largest deposits of gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

“We won’t seek permission from anyone for our production,” Mr Zanganeh said. “We will bring our production back to the market, and the market will absorb it. All of those Opec members whom I speak with welcome this.”

Iran can boost oil exports by 500,000 barrels a day within a week after the removal of sanctions, Roknoddin Javadi, managing director of state-run National Iranian Oil Co, told reporters in Tehran. The nation can raise exports by 1 million barrels a day within six months once the curbs are lifted, he said.

Iran targets crude production of 4.7 million barrels a day by March 2021 and plans to produce 1 million barrels a day of crude condensates by the same date, Mr Javadi said. It pumped 2.8 million barrels a day of oil in September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The nation expects to complete its first terminal for exporting liquefied natural gas, known as LNG, within three years of the lifting of sanctions, Mr Javadi said. Gas producers can supply LNG by ship to customers beyond the reach of pipelines.

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