Iran deputy oil minister says OPEC unlikely to cut output
By Florence Tan
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to implement a production cut at its next meeting in June, a senior Iranian official said on Monday.
Asked if OPEC would cut output at the upcoming June 5 meeting, Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi told Reuters: "I don't think so."
Iran, along with Venezuela, has repeatedly called for OPEC to cut output to shore up low prices that have eaten into producers' oil revenues. Javadi's comments signal an admission that the group was unlikely to agree to a reduction, especially after its current strategy has succeeded in curbing non-OPEC output and allowed OPEC to regain market share.
OPEC, led by oil kingpin Saudi Arabia, decided at a meeting in November to maintain output and keep global markets amply supplied so that low prices would force high-cost U.S. shale oil producers to cut production first.
Javadi indicated later that Iran is still likely in June to push for output reduction or cooperation on the right amount of oil to be delivered to the market.
The meeting could "reinforce cooperation between the members because OPEC is an organization that could make policies for oil price orientation," Javadi told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian Oil and Gas conference in Kuala Lumpur.
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