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.

 

Concern and grief as Britain remembers 2005 terror bombings

Iran nuclear talks: Will Ministers score diplomatic success?

Deadly US raids target ISIS stronghold in Syria

After Tunisia beach massacre, tourists switch to other destinations

Near Gaza Strip, Israelis live in fear behind concrete walls

Tunisia declares state of emergency after beach massacre

Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

Coalitions of Syria rebels battle regime forces in Aleppo

Lawlessness in Libya poses real danger for Tunisia

Hezbollah backs Syria army in major assault on border city

Syria mosque explosion kills at least 25 Nusra fighters

Egypt President in Sinai after jihadist attacks on security forces

Yemen Huthi rebels ‘attack’ various areas in Saudi Arabia

No guarantee of success as Iran nuclear talks inch closer to lasting deal

Egypt ‘in state of war’ on second anniversary of Islamist ouster

Ansar al-Sharia denies killing of Abu Iyadh in US air strike

Rockets from Sinai strike Israel

Palestinians arrest 100 Hamas members in West Bank

Erdogan inaugurates public mosque in palace

Islamists form alliance in battle for Aleppo

Top Tunisian jihadist reportedly killed by US strike in Libya

Emir attends joint Shiite, Sunni prayers in Kuwait

Hamas denies involvement in Sinai attacks

4 Qaeda suspects killed in US drone attack in Yemen

'Series of errors' behind Air Algerie crash in Mali

Ankara has no plans for imminent intervention in Syria

21 killed in clashes, strikes in Yemen's Aden

GCC states vow united stand against IS mosque bombings

Palestinians protest one year after teenager burned alive

Egypt vows to wipe out 'dens of terror'

Tunisia arrests eight in connection with beach massacre

Youth in Tunisia 'ripe for radicalisation'

UN sends mission to 'assess' South Sudan atrocities

Syria urges citizens to enlist

AQAP step up campaign to eradicate qat

Iraq Christians train for jihad against IS

British FM: 'No breakthrough yet' in Iran nuclear talks

UN imposes first sanctions on six South Sudan generals

Libya rival governments will not return to peace talks

Fighting rages in Yemen’s Aden

Egypt government adopts anti-terror law

Kurds warn Turkey against any ‘aggression’ in Syria

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after suicide bombing

Kuwait parliament approves deficit budget on oil slide

Pro-Erdogan candidate becomes new speaker of Turkey parliament