Iran General NewsOutput cuts not expected at March OPEC meet-Iran

Output cuts not expected at March OPEC meet-Iran

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ImageReuters: Iran's oil minister said he did not expect OPEC to cut output again at a meeting this month because an 80 percent commitment by the group to recent curbs had helped stem oil price falls, media reported on Sunday.

ImageTEHRAN, March 1 (Reuters) – Iran's oil minister said he did not expect OPEC to cut output again at a meeting this month because an 80 percent commitment by the group to recent curbs had helped stem oil price falls, media reported on Sunday.

Iran, the second biggest producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, had previously joined some other members in saying OPEC could decide to deepen existing cuts when the group next meets on March 15 in Vienna.

Oil prices have plunged by more than $100 a barrel since a peak of $147 last July as demand has tumbled amid a severe global economic slowdown. To shore up prices, OPEC pledged to cut output by a total of 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since September.

"I do not think that we would move towards cutting production again and we should define a mechanism to repair prices," Gholamhossein Nozari was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency, without detailing what such a mechanism would involve.

"If this production cut (by OPEC) had not happened, oil prices would have fallen even further," he was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency, adding that OPEC members had shown an 80 percent commitment to their output cut obligations.

He also said ministers would assess economic conditions for 2009 and 2010, and would take a decision based on that. (Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian, writing by Edmund Blair)

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