AFP: Iran, OPEC’s second largest producer, on Sunday threw its support behind moves by the cartel for an emergency meeting to cut a longstanding output quota to shore up slumping oil prices. TEHRAN, Oct 8, 2006 (AFP) – Iran, OPEC’s second largest producer, on Sunday threw its support behind moves by the cartel for an emergency meeting to cut a longstanding output quota to shore up slumping oil prices.
“Iran supports any OPEC production cut,” said Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hameneh said on Sunday, according to the state news agency IRNA.
“The output cut will be made from the approved (output quota) ceiling of 28 million barrels per day (bpd), because otherwise it will not have any impact on the market,” he added.
Falling oil prices have set alarm bells ringing among OPEC members and the cartel’s current president, Nigerian Oil Minister Edmund Daukoru, has said it is considering holding an emergency meeting to consider production cuts.
The 11-member cartel has maintained an output quota of 28 million bpd since June 2005. A cut in output is seen as aimed at supporting traded oil prices, which have slumped by about 20 percent in recent weeks owing to easing supply concerns.
“None of the OPEC members have voluntarily decreased their oil production and the members are negotiating it (a cut),” said Vaziri Hameneh.
World oil prices dropped back below 60 dollars per barrel on Friday, with speculation mounting that consensus was building within the organisation for a production cut.
“OPEC is taking measures to hold an emergency meeting or for a signed agreement (among members) to cut the production ceiling,” he added.
“Iran supports an emergency meeting and a production cut,” he said, according to to the Mehr news agency. The next regular OPEC meeting is not due until December 14 in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, closed down 27 cents on Friday at 59.76 dollars per barrel.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for November delivery settled down 17 cents at 59.83 dollars.