Iran General NewsOPEC met 70 percent of agreed supply cut in...

OPEC met 70 percent of agreed supply cut in Jan: Iran

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ImageReuters: Iran's OPEC governor said the oil producing organization in January met 70 percent of its pledge to reduce output and that this was very good, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

ImageTEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran's OPEC governor said the oil producing organization in January met 70 percent of its pledge to reduce output and that this was very good, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

Mohammad Ali Khatibi also said the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would not hold an extraordinary meeting before its next scheduled meeting in Vienna on March 15, IRNA reported.

Oil prices have tumbled from a peak of $147 a barrel last July to around $35 now, despite a series of OPEC output curbs.

Declining demand worldwide due to the economic downturn has prompted OPEC to reduce output by 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since September, including a reduction of a record 2.2 million bpd that took effect on January 1.

Iran, OPEC's number two producer, has previously said a further reduction would be needed, but Khatibi did not mention this in Saturday's IRNA report.

He estimated OPEC's compliance with the agreed output cut at 70 percent last month, IRNA reported, without giving a direct back-up quote. A Reuters survey earlier this month put compliance with the supply curbs at 67 percent in January.

"The oil market is worried that some member states might produce less than their quotas in the month of February in order to improve the prices," Khatibi told IRNA.

"The oil market is awaiting the U.S. president's economic plan to improve this country's economic condition and the rise in the price of gasoline has raised hope that the world's oil refineries might buy more oil," he said.

OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report, published on Friday, indicated that the grouping still has more to do in delivering on existing output curbs.

In January, the 11 members with supply targets, all excluding Iraq, cut output by 965,000 bpd to 26.33 million bpd, according to data from secondary sources cited by OPEC in the report.

Production remains above OPEC's 24.84 million bpd implied target and the cutback indicates that OPEC met 65 percent of its pledge to lower output, according to a Reuters calculation based on the OPEC data.

(Reporting by Hashem Kalantari; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Victoria Main)

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