First Published: 2003-09-24

 
Iran: OPEC to cut oil production quotas
 

Oil prices surge on news of OPEC's decision to cut its production quotas as Iraq will remain member of cartel.

 

Middle East Online

A shocking decision to the oil market

VIENNA - The OPEC oil cartel plans to cut its production quotas, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanghaneh said Wednesday after talks with fellow ministers, sending oil prices surging on world markets.

"Yes," he told reporters at OPEC's headquarters when asked whether the grouping was going to change its official output ceiling of 25.4 million barrels per day at a formal conference scheduled for 3:00 pm (13H00 GMT).

When asked whether it would be a cut, he nodded his head.

If confirmed, such a decision would come as a surprise to oil market traders, who had widely expected the grouping to leave output levels unchanged in the fourth quarter of the year.

Oil prices shot higher in London on news of the planned reduction.

Benchmark Brent North Sea crude oil for November delivery rallied 83 cents a barrel to 26.35 dollars within minutes of the news.

Meanwhile, Iraqi interim Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum said Wednesday Iraq will remain a member of the OPEC oil cartel while at the same time significantly boosting output by the end of this decade.

"Iraq is a founding member of OPEC. It will stay and remain in OPEC," he told reporters through an interpreter at the first meeting of the 11-member cartel attended by Iraq since the US-led war to topple Saddam Hussein.

Iraq also hoped to boost its oil output to six million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of this decade, he added at a press conference at the cartel's headquarters.

"We intend to develop fast our huge resources with the help of the oil industry and other investors."

Iraq was producing up to 2.8 million bpd in February before the US-led war began.

But Iraq was only exporting 900,000 bpd at the end of August, officials in Baghdad said.

OPEC is keen to see Iraq, sitting atop the world's second-biggest known crude oil reserves, remain in the fold of the grouping, which produces about one third of the world's oil.

Bahr al-Ulum arrived Tuesday in Vienna at the invitation of OPEC President Abdallah ben Hamad Al-Attiyah, who is also Qatar's energy minister.

The invitation followed a decision by the 22-member Arab League on September 9 to allow the Governing Council in Baghdad to take the seat of Iraq, boosting efforts by the US-sponsored authorities to win international credibility.

 

Blair calls on West to combat ‘growing’ danger of Islamist extremism

No Qatar ‘concessions’ on end of dispute with fellow Gulf states

Bahrain expels representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Netayahu to Abbas: Does you want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?

Dubai's Emaar posts huge Q1 profit

Witnesses in Morsi trial: Hamas and Hezbollah attacked Egypt prisons

Family of detained Al-Jazeera reporter in Egypt call for his release

Bomb targets convoy of Education Minister in north Iraq

After Ervin scandal, Iran Prisons Chief becomes Head of Justice Department

Egypt FM travels to US as Washington relaxes hold on military aid

US diplomat visits Libya amid political upheaval

Jarba asks Saudi Arabia to increase support for Syria rebels

Better late than never: Erdogan offers condolences over mass WWI killings of Armenians

Hezbollah veto dashes Geagea dreams of presidency

UN aid chiefs make impassionate call for Syria access

Police brigadier general killed in Cairo bomb attack

11 new MERS infections registered in Saudi

EU denounces Syria plans for June 3 election

Iran envoy row fails to make headway at UN

Amnesty: Qatar fails to protect domestic workers

US will deliver 10 Apache choppers to Egypt to counter terrorism

US expresses horror at South Sudan violence

Egypt's next president will have to deal with frustrated workers

Rival Palestinian leaders agree on national unity govt

Jumblatt backs lawmaker Henri Helou for Lebanon presidency

Global chemical watchdog: Syria weapons handover at 86.5 percent

Kerry ‘prefers’ Cold War-like situation to current complex challenges

Israel to call up Christian Arabs for military service

Egypt prosecutors submit new evidence in Jazeera trial

Families of Iran prisoners break silence over abuses at notorious Evin

Lebanon sends rare aid to its territory in Syria

Iran divorce rate increases amid slow population growth

Suspected militant attacks kill four Yemen officers in two days

Distrust casts shadow over South Kordofan peace talks

Ali Tarhuni heads Libya constituent assembly

Washington revisits story of Syria chemical weapons

PM Erdogan to tour Europe for expat presidency votes

Erdogan to May Day protesters: Give up on your hopes of Taksim!

Palestine plays down threat to dismantle PA

South Sudan army battle rebels as insurgents target oil fields

Two Somali MPs shot dead in 24 hours

MERS death toll keeps climbing in Saudi

Court deals blow to US administration on drone attacks

Berber protesters clash anew with Algeria police

US has 'indications' of new chemical attacks in Syria