Source: Press TV
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a potential oil output freeze deal among oil-exporting countries should involve some compromise on Iran’s production levels. “I think that from the point of view of economic expediency and logic, it would be right to find some sort of compromise” on the Iranian output level, Putin told Bloomberg.
Saudi Arabia's Oil Policy
(cartoon by Javad Takjou, Iranian daily Ghanoon)
Putin said countries now recognize that Iran should be allowed to continue raising production as sanctions have been lifted against the country.
“Iran is starting from a very low position, connected with the well-known sanctions in relation to this country,” the Russian president said, adding, “It would be unfair to leave it on this sanctioned level.”
Oil-exporting countries have been seeking a deal to cap production levels in an attempt to prevent a further drop in global oil prices, which in recent years saw a fall from a high of 147 dollars a barrel to a low of around 25 dollars. Saudi Arabia, however, has repeatedly hindered such a deal by insisting that Iran agree to the same low production level as that assigned for other countries.
Blaming Saudi Arabia
Putin further said, “I would very much like to hope that all the participants in this market, who want to maintain stable and fair world prices for energy resources, will at the end of the day take the necessary decision.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, a transcript of which was published on the Kremlin’s website, the Russian president held Saudi Arabia responsible for failed attempts by OPEC and non-OPEC oil exporters to reach a pact on stabilizing production levels.
“It wasn’t us who rejected a freeze on production volumes, it was our Saudi partners who at the last minute changed their point of view and decided to take a time out in taking this decision,” Putin pointed out.
He said he would convey his position to Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he may meet on the sidelines of a G20 gathering in China this weekend. “If Prince Salman and I talk on this subject, I will of course lay out our position again: we believe that it (an output freeze) is the right decision for global energy.”
Iran has frequently said that it is ready to join an oil freeze plan that has been proposed by several key peer producers to help stabilize the market. The Islamic Republic has, however, argued that any such deal should take into account the special position of the country, which had been under sanctions impacting its oil production levels for a number of years.
In early June, Reuters reported a rapid surge in Iran’s oil exports. It said shipping data showed that the country’s oil exports were close to the pre-sanctions level of 2.5 million barrels per day, stressing that it had been able to improve its export capabilities at a much faster pace than anticipated.
Iran had made it clear before that it would not join a deal to cap production levels before reaching the pre-sanctions level.
Iran says its oil exports have increased to as high as 2.5 million barrels per day - a landmark development that could mean the country has already regained a crucial global oil market share that it had lost as a result of multiple years of sanctions.
In mid-January, a series of economic sanctions were removed after a deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany - was implemented.
The sanctions barred foreign investments in the Iranian oil industry and also limited a low ceiling of 1 million bpd on the country’s oil exports.
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