Iran Says Ready to Join Oil Freeze Plan

Iran said on Friday that it is ready to join an oil freeze plan that has been proposed by several key peer producers to help stabilize the market.

Mohsen Qamsari, the director for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), told reporters that Iran has already reached the desirable level of oil output to proceed with freezing its production.

Qamsari said Iran’s current production of oil, based on OPEC calculations, stands at around 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by considering the daily production of 500,000 bpd of condensate.

“Accordingly, the desirable figure for Oil Minister [Bijan Zangeneh] has been reached and we can join the oil freeze plan,” he has been quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

Nevertheless, the official emphasized, the decision to join the plan should be taken by the oil minister, himself.

“It is expected that he will make a decision over this,” other news agencies have quoted Qamsari as saying.

The oil freeze plan that has been raised by key OPEC and non-OPEC producers requires the global production of oil to remain at January levels.  The plan is meant to boost the prices that have fallen 65 percent since peaking in June 2014 due to oversupply.

Iran had so far rejected the call to freeze its output as unfair and emphasized that it will go ahead with its plans to increase its oil production.

Nevertheless, it had made it clear that it is ready to join the plan after its output reaches 4 million barrels per day.

The country had been under multiple years of sanctions that limited its oil exports to 1 million barrels per day and also barred foreign investments in its oil industry.

The sanctions were lifted in mid-January with the implementation of a deal that the country had reached with the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – over its nuclear energy program.

Shortly after the removal of the sanctions, Iran increased its oil production by several hundred thousand barrels per day.

NIOC’s Qamsari told reporters on Friday that Iran’s oil exports already stand at 2.2 million bpd of which at least 0.5 million bpd is exported to Europe.

He also emphasized that any fresh rise in the country’s oil production will depend on market conditions and its domestic capabilities.

 

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