February 22, 2020, 10:27

Saudi Minister: OPEC Leaves Politics Out of Discussion

Saudi Minister: OPEC Leaves Politics Out of Discussion

VIENNA (Sputnik) – Only those signatory states to the Vienna oil output cuts deal, which have capabilities to boost output, will do so, the total increase in oil production will amount to less than 1 million barrels per day, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Falih said Friday.

The minister addressed Iran’s request to discuss US sanctions, stressing that the OPEC was always staying out of political clashes.

“OPEC has always left politics out of its discussion for many, many decades. There is no intent to make out of this protocol that we have in this case,” Falih told reporters.

READ MORE: Russian Energy Minister: OPEC to Recommend Output Hike of 1Mln Barrels Per Day

The minister also claimed, that only part of the signatory states to the Vienna oil output cuts deal had capacity to boost oil production.

“Effective production will be based on the countries’ ability to actually produce whatever gets distributed. As we know, some countries are unable to increase production targets as we speak. It is nominally by a million but the increase in production will be less than a million,” Falih told reporters ahead of the OPEC talks on taking a decision to decrease the production cut under the Vienna deal.

Earlier this month, media reports emerged suggesting that Iran’s OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili asked the organization to include the topic of sanctions on the agenda of the ongoing talks in Vienna.

OPEC and several non-OPEC oil producers, including Russia, reached a deal in Vienna in 2016, agreeing to cut oil output by a total of 1.8 million barrels per day in an effort to stabilize global oil prices. Non-OPEC states pledged to jointly reduce oil output by 558,000 barrels per day. The agreement, which came into effect in 2017, has been extended twice since then and is expected to remain in force until the end of 2018.

Tehran’s Effort to Preserve the Level of Oil Production

Meanwhile, asked if Tehran could theoretically increase oil output in the future, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh stated that preserving current level under US sanctions is the “first priority.”

“I’m trying to preserve this current level of production — 3.8 [million barrels per day]… the United States put pressure on us,” the minister added.

READ MORE: Iran’s Zarif Vows Cooperation With US After Return to Nuclear Deal

However, Zangeneh expressed his hope for reaching the middle ground in the upcoming talks, telling reporters he was not “pessimistic about reaching a compromise” before the start of the OPEC meeting on discussing oil production.

The OPEC meeting was delayed for over an hour due to the Iranian oil minister holding bilateral meetings with the other ministers, including Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Falih, earlier in the day, according to a Sputnik correspondent.

Source: sputniknews.com

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