Iran President Says Oil Drop to Hurt Saudi Arabia, Kuwait

Oil’s price slump may hurt Saudi Arabia and Kuwait more than Iran, which depends less on crude exports than the other two nations, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.

Countries responsible for the drop in oil prices will “regret it,” Rouhani said yesterday in an address in Bushehr province, without identifying them. “If Iran suffers from declining oil prices, know that other oil-producing countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will suffer more than Iran,” Rouhani said.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, and neighboring Kuwait opposed Iran’s unsuccessful effort to persuade the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output at their Nov. 27 meeting. Iran’s crude exports have been curbed by international sanctions imposed because of the country’s nuclear program. It produced 2.77 million barrels a day of oil in December, down from an average of 3.58 million in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil tumbled almost 50 percent last year, the most since the 2008 financial crisis, amid a supply surplus that the United Arab Emirates and Qatar estimate at 2 million barrels a day. OPEC is battling a U.S. shale boom by resisting production cuts, signaling its readiness to let prices fall to a level that slows American output, which has surged to a three-decade high.

Brent crude dropped 0.9 percent to $46.13 a barrel by 1:32 p.m. in Dubai, falling for a fifth day.

Declining oil prices will not put pressure on Iran because the government drafted its “least oil-dependent” budget, with only one-third of official revenue expected to come from oil exports in the next Iranian calendar year beginning March 21, Rouhani said.

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