Iran seeks output cuts at agreed level

VIENNA: Iran on Wednesday signalled it could compromise on a small increase in Opec oil output when the group meets this week, as Saudi Arabia scrambled to convince fellow members of the need for a larger rise in production.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Friday to decide output policy amid calls from major consumers such as the United States and China to cool down oil prices and support the global economy by producing more crude.
Iran said on Tuesday Opec was unlikely to reach a deal, setting the stage for a clash with Saudi Arabia and non-member Russia, which are pushing to raise production steeply from July to meet growing global demand.
But on Wednesday, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Opec members that had overdelivered on cuts in recent months should comply with agreed quotas.
That would effectively mean a modest boost from producers such as Saudi Arabia that have been cutting more deeply than planned despite production outages in Venezuela and Libya.
“Opec could keep the same deal with compliance going back to 100 per cent,” said an Opec source who is aware of Iran’s stance.
Opec Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said he was confident there would be a deal when the producer group meets in Vienna on Friday.
Russia has proposed Opec and non-Opec producers raise output by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), effectively wiping out existing production cuts of 1.8 million bpd that have helped rebalance the market in the past 18 months.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al Falih also said that the market demanded more oil in the second half of this year and that Opec was moving towards “a good decision”.