OPEC gives no figure for pumping more oil: Iran minister

Vienna, June 23, IRNA – There is no figure in Friday OPEC statement for increasing oil output, the Iranian petroleum minister announced.

'The stance is transparent, and there is no ambiguity, and this is what I've said from the first day,' Bijan Zangeneh told reporters in this Austrian capital city where the 174th ministerial meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was held.

According to the US Bloomberg news and media company, Zangeneh upon arrival in Vienna on June 20 told reporters that oil should not be utilized as a 'weapon or a political tool against other countries.'

Asked by Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Friday about increase in OPEC oil production, Zangeneh said the claim about daily pumping one million barrels of extra oil is just a move to send message to the US.

Zangeneh added some say that the OPEC conference has agreed to raise production by one million barrels per day, but 'there is no figure in this [OPEC] statement.

'The OPEC idea is only what we agreed and signed.'

Iran's representative o OPEC Hossein Kazempour Ardebili had said on June 19 that Tehran would veto any output proposal from Russia and Saudi Arabia, the veto as he said had the support from Iraq and Venezuela.

The Iranian petroleum minister also talked of the claim about pumping 1.8 million oil barrels per day into the market, saying 'There is no such capacity in the world,' adding some like US President Donald Trump think in vain that there is an additional mega capacity which can be a substitute for omission of Iran.

He went on to say that from ten OPEC and non-OPEC members which signed the statement, seven have no production capability.

OPEC has currently 14 members.

Asked whether the agreement between Moscow and Riyadh to increase oil output will make up for Venezuela and other producers, Zangeneh said the OPEC statement says nothing about the issue.

Russia can just transfer the oil within the Organization's framework set for the non-OPEC members, Zangeneh added, stressing 'In OPEC, no country can be a substitute for another.'

The minister noted any remarks out of the OPEC statement is a message to the United States.

Zangeneh further predicted that the amount of oil which may pump into the market will be less than half a million barrels per day, 300,000 of which will be produced by Russia and the rest by Saudi Arabia.

According to OPEC statement, Moscow and Riyadh cannot increase the output more than the mentioned figure, Zangeneh said.

Referring to the US unilateral sanctions against Iran, Zangeneh said Iran's exit from the oil market will cost [the world] a lot.

About his meeting held on the sidelines of the OPEC Vienna conference with Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid Al-Falih, Zangeneh said 'We, in OPEC, have shown in history that we cooperate with each other despite the existing disagreements. And this is the basis of the OPEC activity.'

Iran organizes its relations based on its interests, Zangeneh added.

In response to a question about the effect of the Europe stance on preservation of the Iran Deal and its impact on the country's oil industry, the petroleum minister said the Europeans are willing to keep alive the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

There is no doubt about their (Europeans) political will, but 'I'm dubious about their capabilities,' he stressed.

Some European companies including Shell and Total, due to their relations with the US, have declared that they will not buy Iran's oil, he said adding Tehran, instead, makes effort to keep exports ceiling.

The 174th Meeting of OPEC was held in Vienna. The participants, at the end of the meeting, agreed to be committed to the Organization statement.

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