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Iran, Kuwait stand candidates for OPEC Secretary General post

Isfahan, March 14, IRNA-Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Isfahan on Monday that Iran and Kuwait have turned candidates for the OPEC secretary general post.

Speaking to reporters upon arrival in Isfahan to take part in the ordinary meeting of OPEC (March 15-16), Zanganeh said since all the OPEC decisions are based on consensus, the cartel would decide on the post through consensus.

photo: ISNA

Zanganeh added no one has thus far reached any consensus on the future secretary general.

Commenting on Saudi proposal to raise its output by 500,000 bpd, Zanganeh said, "At present it is not so good to raise the output from 27.7 million barrels/d to the OPEC output ceiling in the coming meetings."

He said, "We should examine the market very carefully. In the second quarter of the year we will face a decline in the demand due to seasonal changes but I do not think that we have to lift supplies to 27.5 million bpd."

photo: ISNA

The Minister touched on yet another proposal for the OPEC's output levels, saying it suggested refraining to change the production ceiling due to a surplus in the crude supply in the second quarter of the next year and absence of any shortage on the market as well as high prices.

"We should not make any decision which would send any wrong signal to the market," cautioned the minister.

He said there would be possibility for the members next year to auge the market conditions and raise the production ceiling based on the governing conditions.

The minister said the price hikes on the market is partly political and partly due to prolongation of the cold weather and refining problems in the US.

He said OPEC is now in its booming condition, witnessing full unity and authority. "There is no difference among the members and they reach understanding too soon."

OPEC meeting is to inaugurate as of Tuesday to study output levels and choose the next secretary general.

... Payvand News - 3/15/05 ... --

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