Iran Hosts Oil Talks, Seeks "Different Means" to Prices

File image courtesy NIOC / Hamidreza Norouzi

By MarEx 2016-02-16 21:00:57

Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh told Iran's Shana news agency on Tuesday that Tehran will host Iraqi Oil Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino on Wednesday. Venezuela has recently joined with three other leading oil producers in a tentative agreement to freeze production at present levels in an attempt to stabilize prices.

Regarding tomorrow's talks, Zangeneh said that “what is important is that, first, the market is oversupplied, and, second, Iran will not give up its quota,” he was quoted by Iran's Shana news agency, suggesting that the nation will not cede ground to other oil producers as it seeks to regain market share.

Zangeneh said that he was not familiar with the outcome of the Doha meeting between Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar, which resulted in the production agreement.

“According to reports about the meeting which I am still not informed about its final results, there were talks over stabilizing the production quota . . . it requires discussion and examination,” he said.

Separately, in response to news of the Doha agreement, acting deputy oil minister Masoud Hashemian Esfahani told Fars on Tuesday that Iran would “attempt to reach an agreement to make oil prices higher," and that “cooperating with each other to reach this goal is necessary.”

However, he said, "in either case we support a higher oil price level, we will attempt by different means to increase oil prices,” suggesting that production restrictions may not be the means by which Iran seeks to join in the market stabilization effort.

Iran's oil ministry also announced that it has started receiving payments due for oil sales and other transactions made before the imposition of sanctions. Cooperating debtors include Royal Dutch Shell, Emirates National Oil Company, and a variety of smaller firms. The ministry's largest overdue domestic account, worth some two billion euros, belongs to the arrested Iranian billionare Babak Zanjani. His assets have reportedly been seized and will be sold if payments on the overdue amounts are not made.