Talking to reporters prior to the 177th Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Zangeneh said: “Speaking on behalf of the Iranian nation, I would say this is the right of our people and nation and I would not agree with cutting even a barrel of oil for illogical reasons.”
He said: “Currently, our oil has been driven out of the market and those who have more output must undergo deeper cuts in the future.”
“No one must expect Iran to reduce its output in the wake of eased sanctions in the future.”
“Yesterday, I wrote a letter to the conference president and asked him to inform other OPEC members that Iran has involuntarily reduced its output and produced less than its historical quota. Those who produce more oil must cut their output deeper,” he added.
The Iranian Minister of Petroleum is now in Vienna to join the OPEC Conference.
OPEC meets on Thursday in Vienna followed by a meeting with Russia and others, a grouping known as OPEC+, on Friday.
OPEC+ has curbed supply since 2017 to counter booming output from the United States, which has become the world’s biggest producer.
“Until oil money is not included in the INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges), it would be tantamount to nothing; if they agree with this mechanism, one can say some improvement has taken place; otherwise, without including oil money in INSTEX, no comments can be made.”
On Brazil Joining OPEC
“I have not heard about a membership application in OPEC by Brazil. However, if they do apply to join the organization, I would welcome membership of a country like Brazil.”
“From now on, I would disagree with membership of countries with less than 50,000 or 40,000 b/d output who will regret their membership after a short while. “
“Here (OPEC) has become like a place where members sign up and leave after 6 months. This is not good for the organization and would undermine its standing.”
Zangeneh also touched on Russia’s proposal to exclude gas condensate in the output cut deal: “I think this proposal by the Russians regarding excluding gas condensate in the output cut agreement is logical because, at OPEC, we do not discuss gas condensate; all the discussions concern crude oil. “
“It would be unjust and unfair to ask Russia to comply with something which is not in OPEC equations.”
He said: “I would not consider any limits for Iran’s output in case the sanctions are removed.”
“This thing is the right of my nation and people and I insist on that and would never give it up.”
Zangeneh said the level of compliance was fine despite the fact that some producers were too far from fully complying with the output cut levels.
Asked whether the current level of cuts was enough, he said, “It is not enough but essential. The rest depends on the OPEC+ agreement; on behalf of Iran, I would support any consensus of opinion regarding production cuts and would have no issues with it.”
The Iranian petroleum minister further said that the sanctions had also targeted countries like Libya and Venezuela and Iran was not the only country with the trouble of sanctions.
“Regarding output cut levels and other issues a consensus must be reached; any further cuts in output would be an achievement and I would agree with it.”
Some Spanish companies are said to be willing to operate in Iran despite US sanctions. Asked what forms of facilities Iran would provide such firms to operate in the country, he said: “We should not do anything, they should do something to be less afraid of the US. If they want to operate in Iran, they know their own way.”
Asked how he forecasted would be the fate of the current OPEC meeting, he said: "At OPEC, one cannot predict accurately, but I have no reason to believe that it (the meeting) is going to become complicated."
Zangeneh also commented on his estimation of market conditions in 2020: “Pricing is subject to production, supply and demand. But now they say there has been a surge in demand in the first and second quarters of the year, which puts pressure on prices if that is the case.”