Iran will not back further Opec cuts

The key member of the producers' group says it wants to use other mechanisms to support the oil price.

** FILE ** Iranian oil technician Majid Afshari checks the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field, near Ahvaz, Iran, Tuesday, April 15, 2008.  (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) *** Local Caption ***  VAH101_Iran_Oil_and_Sanctions.jpg
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Iran will not support a new round of oil production cuts at OPEC's coming meeting in Vienna, the country's oil minister told local press on Sunday. "I do not think we move towards cutting production again. Instead, a mechanism should be defined to repair prices in the oil market," Gholamhossein Nozarisaid, according to remarks published on the website of Press TV. Mr Nozari did not offer more details on what he thought the "mechanism" should be. His comments come a day after Chakib Khelil, the Algerian minister of energy and mines, said "an additional production cut is very likely" in Vienna.

Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer, is one of the most hawkish members of the group and frequently voices support for large reductions in output to support high oil prices. But the country has been the least compliant at implementing OPEC's latest round of production cuts, experts say. OPEC does not publish individual quotas or production estimates for member states, but a comparison of output estimates from secondary sources and widely accepted quotas show Iran produced between 330,000 and 460,000 barrels per day over its target in January.