From the Field
Iran says will support September OPEC talks
VIENNA, August 24, 2016 – Iran reportedly informed OPEC members that the country will attend the organisation’s next informal talks on oil production in Algeria in late September. The announcement caused a jump in crude prices on August 23, as the move raises hope for an agreement between member countries to reduce oil output and drive prices up.
OPEC’s 14 members are not scheduled to meet formally until November in Vienna, Austria, but talks will be held at Algiers’ International Energy Forum on September 26-28. Iranian officials had previously declined to participate in such discussions during OPEC’s meeting in Doha in April 2016, causing the collapse of an agreement between OPEC and some non-OPEC oil producers.
Iran’s previous refusals to curb output have been a major hurdle to the organisation’s efforts to control production in order to bolster prices, which have fallen to below USD 50 per barrel from more than USD 100 in 2014. Tehran has repeatedly said it would need to bring its production back to pre-sanctions levels and to regain its old market share before it starts co-operating with other OPEC members on oil production. Iranian oil production is now reportedly averaging 3.6 million bpd, nearing the 4-million-bpd pre-sanction level.
Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, the organisation’s newly appointed secretary-general, is expected to travel to Tehran and Doha next month ahead of the Algiers talks. Barkindo met with Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino on August 22.