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Iran's return to oil markets will not lower prices: Oil Minister

Source: Tehran Times

The return of Iran to oil markets will not lead to a decrease in prices, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Monday. In a message to members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Zanganeh also said that unconventional oil production from shale reserves by non-OPEC countries will not be a threat to OPEC.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh

Zanganeh supported OPEC's policy for stabilizing its ceiling output at 30 million barrels per day.

"We believe it is our right to try to increase our exports," Zanganeh said. "I hope that all OPEC countries show wisdom, and when member countries, after limitation, return to the market, they understand that they should open the doors."

On December 3, Zanganeh said Iran could boost production to 4 million barrels a day next year if sanctions are lifted. The nation is currently exporting about 1.2 million barrels a day and has earmarked 1.5 million barrels of daily sales in its budget, which includes 300,000 barrels of condensates.

The Iranian minister has invited French Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Norwegian Statoil, Italian Eni, and British Petroleum as well as U.S. Exxon and Conoco companies to develop oil projects in Iran.

Iran has urged other OPEC members to make room for its eventual return to oil markets after it reached an interim deal with world powers over its nuclear program in November.

On December 11, the International Energy Agency said global oil demand will be higher than expected next year and that could push up oil prices amid persistent production disruptions.

Oil prices recovered Monday after a week-long plunge. Benchmark U.S. oil for February delivery rose 11 cents to $94.07 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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