Iran's Zanganeh Says OPEC May Decide on Further Oil-Output Cuts

  • Finding consensus in OPEC for more cuts would be ‘difficult’
  • U.S. production growth of 900,000 barrels a day eroding prices

Oil Falls Further Into a Bear Market

Iran and fellow OPEC members are in talks about making further cuts in oil production, though the group would have a hard time reaching a consensus, according to the country’s top energy official.

Oil producers are struggling to shore up markets after a global supply glut led prices to fall below $50 a barrel this week. The U.S. is pumping an additional 900,000 barrels a day, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Wednesday on state radio. The increase in American output is more than the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries expected and is contributing to crude’s decline, he said.

“We are consulting with OPEC member states to have them prepared to make a decision,’’ Zanganeh said. “Decision-making would mean for OPEC to make further cuts,’’ he said, adding that reaching a consensus would be “difficult.”

Saudi Arabia and Russia led a coalition of OPEC and allied producers to extend their limits on output for nine months through March 2018. Iran, citing its need to recover from economic sanctions, insisted on and won an exemption from the cuts, which took effect in January. The production limits need more time to work, Zanganeh said.

— With assistance by Anthony Dipaola

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