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.

 

Tunisia goes for democracy to counter schemes of Ennahda and Marzouki

Biden: You cannot think free where you cannot challenge orthodoxy

Does Abbas have enough political influence to stop violence in Jerusalem?

Iran sees ‘no more room’ for talks on design of Arak reactor

Ladies first at Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Turkey offers military assistance to Iraq

Bomb hits police post near Helwan University in Egypt

UN demands staff member release in South Sudan

US envoy: IS ‘impaled itself’ on Kobane

Morocco King and Biden discuss ‘compelling alternative’ to dissuade potential jihadists

In response to Amnesty report: UAE remains committed to protection of human rights

World blacklists Ansar al-Sharia group in Libya

Dempsey places heavy responsibility on Iraq fractured army

Barbarism of suicide bombers rocks Arbil in fresh bloody attack

Egypt gives its blessing to Qatar return to Arab fold

France identifies second citizen in IS execution video

Israel returns to policy of punitive house demolitions

France reveals worrying numbers: More than 1000 jihadist nationals in Syria

Without Khamenei support, Rouhani risks much in Iran nuclear gamble

Saudi King urges Egypt to support Qatar return to Arab fold

Turkey may go ahead with redevelopment of Gezi Park

Suicide bomber blows up car in Iraqi Kurdish capital

Iraq government transfers $500 million to Kurdish region

Syria economy back to 1980s size

Netanyahu: Israel at the height of ongoing terror attack

Spanish lawmakers urge Madrid to recognise Palestine

Is GCC spat over Qatar finally over?

Turkey fears new wave of Syria refugees if Aleppo falls

Saudi Arabia expands buffer zone with Iraq

Spain parliament takes step towards recognising Palestine

Deadliest Jerusalem attack in years raises fears of escalation

Syria Kurds make new gains in heart of Kobane

Ben Ali son-in-law in Tunisia to challenge jail sentence

Iran parliament rejects Rouhani's science minister pick

Iran nuclear deal in doubt amid differences on key issues

Jordan queen: our silence is the greatest gift for IS

Iran nuclear talks enter final round in Vienna

35.8 million people trapped in modern-day slavery

Tunisia holds first multi-candidate presidential poll

Four Israelis killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack

US to begin scanning travelers from Mali for Ebola

Saudi National Guard chief to seek more US support

Israel blocks entry to Norwegian doctor

Can Obama seal historic nuclear deal with Iran?

Deadly clashes force Tripoli airport closure