• Barkindo ‘satisfied’ with assurances from Iranian leaders
  • OPEC ministers working hard before ‘crucial’ talks in Algiers

Iran is committed to building a consensus on stabilizing the oil market between OPEC and non-member countries, the group’s new Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and President Hassan Rouhani “assured me that Iran will do everything possible in joining hands with members within the OPEC group as well as outside OPEC," Barkindo said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Rome. "I am quite satisfied with the assurances" given during talks this month in Tehran, he said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will hold informal discussions on Sept. 28 in Algiers. Barkindo has damped expectations of an agreement to freeze production, saying the meeting is just a consultation. Yet oil prices rose last month on speculation that members may revive such a proposal after a similar deal failed in April amid Iran’s refusal to participate.

OPEC ministers are working “very hard” to get an informal agreement on steadying the market ahead of the Algiers talks, which will also be attended by non-member Russia, Barkindo said. 

Iran has been ramping up oil production to restore output lost during years of international sanctions. Earlier this month, Mohsen Ghamsari, director for international affairs at state-run National Iranian Oil Co., said the Algiers meeting will be too soon for Iran to discuss freezing production.

The talks in the North African city will be “crucial,” Barkindo said in Rome, where he was attending the Future of Energy Conference organized by European House-Ambrosetti and Eni SpA. "Specific policy-decision tools will have to be addressed and agreed upon after a thorough review, analysis and comprehension of this very dynamic and complex energy landscape."

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