Iran optimistic on OPEC production cuts

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said he’s optimistic that Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members will agree to proposed production cuts at a meeting in Vienna later this month. Zanganeh met the group’s secretary-general, Mohammed Barkindo, in Tehran on Saturday to discuss an accord that seeks to reduce output by as much as 1.3 million barrels a day. He described as “promising” information that was relayed to him by Barkindo about finalising the agreement. The OPEC is seeking to trim output for the first time in eight years. An agreement reached in Algiers in September to limit production has been complicated by Iran’s commitment to boost production and Iraq’s contention that it should be exempt so it can fund its war with Islamist militants. On Friday, OPEC said it made progress toward a deal to cut production after another round of talks with Russia, though it left crucial details including the role of Iraq and Iran to be resolved in Vienna. While ministers from Saudi Arabia and Algeria reiterated their goal of reducing the group’s production to 32.5 million barrels a day, they offered no clear details about how to resolve Iraq and Iran’s resistance. Nor did they secure a pledge from Russia to do more than cap production, currently at record levels. (Hashem Kalantari and Golnar Motevalli/Bloomberg)

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