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OPEC Highly Probable to Reach Accord on Freeze Plan: Iran

(Saturday, November 19, 2016) 14:48

TEHRAN, Nov. 19 (Shana) -- Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said: "It is highly probable that oil and energy ministers of the member countries of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will reach an agreement [on production freeze plan] in the November 30 meeting."

Speaking following a meeting with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo here in Tehran on Saturday, Zangeneh described the meeting as positive, saying the OPEC chief offered a detailed report about the latest developments among the OPEC and non-OPEC crude oil producers regarding finalization of the Algiers accord regarding a production freeze plan to curb falling crude oil prices in the global oil market. 

"OPEC and non-OPEC producers are trying to reach a comprehensive decision in the regular meeting of the members in Vienna," he said, adding, "The information OPEC Secretary General briefed me about was promising."

The senior Iranian energy official further expressed optimism about the upcoming market developments, saying, "I look at the future positively and think that things will improve in the future." 

"It is highly probable that OPEC members will reach a consensus in the November meeting." 

More Oil, More Responsibility

The Iranian official further said that those countries that have offered the largest volumes of crude oil to the market in recent years, will have the biggest responsibilities before the market.

"Today, even western countries expect higher prices in the market than the current levels in order to step out of recession," he added. 

"They are all worried about the fall in investments in the oil industry in recent years; a process that has negatively influenced the oil market." 

Asked whether OPEC members will honor the Algiers deal, Zangeneh said: "I think OPEC members honor the agreement and would try to put in into action." 

He also dismissed the possibility of Iraq not joining the freeze plan, saying Mr. Barkindo has met with senior Iraqi officials and the result of his meetings is promising. 

Asked what price he deemed appropriate for oil in the market, he said a proper price would be one that ensures the interests of both producers and consumers.

"OPEC members have considered a price range of $55 to $60," he added. 

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh hosted a meeting with Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammed Barkindo on Saturday at his Tehran office. 

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on November 30 to discuss a proposed production freeze plan in Vienna. OPEC members agreed on the outline of a freeze plan on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF), which grouped producers and consumers, in Algeria on Sept. 26-28. 

The freeze plan is expected to seek to revive a global deal to stabilize oil output levels.

Oil prices settled higher on Friday, closing out a strong week that saw crude buoyed by growing expectations that OPEC will find a way to cap production at the end of the month, Reuters reported.

Brent notched a daily rise of 37 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $46.86 per barrel. Brent also had its first weekly increase in five weeks.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 27 cents, or 0.6 percent, for the day, at $45.69 a barrel. It posted its first weekly increase in four.

Attempts by OPEC and non-OPEC oil exporters to reach a pact on freezing output earlier this year failed.