Iran oil minister says Saudi Arabia, UAE 'overstating their oil capacity'

Iran oil minister says Saudi Arabia, UAE 'overstating their oil capacity'
Comments come in response to US assurances that the two Gulf nations will make up for any shortfall in oil supply caused by a tightening of sanctions on Iran
2 min read
26 April, 2019
An Iranian oil terminal on Kharg Island (Anadolu Archive)
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are overstating their oil capacities, Iran’s state news agency IRNA quoted Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying on Friday.

Zanganeh’s comments were in response to expectations that the two Gulf nations would compensate for any shortfall in supply caused by a tightening of US sanctions on Iran.

On Monday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that it would not renew any exemptions from US sanctions on buyers of Iranian oil. These exemptions are set to end in May. This news triggered an increase in oil prices but Pompeo said he had received a commitment from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to ensure oil supplies remained stable.

Zanganeh said that the tightening of US sanctions was 'not a bluff, but (the result of) very violent hostility towards the Iranian nation'.

On Wednesday, Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said that he did not see any need to raise oil output in response to the tightening of sanctions on Iran, but said that Saudi Arabia would supply more oil if asked to by its customers."

Inventories are actually continuing to rise despite what is happening in Venezuela and despite the tightening of sanctions on Iran. I don’t see the need to do anything immediately", he added.

Saudi Arabia is currently exporting 7 million barrels of oil a day. Under an OPEC deal on supply it can export up to 10.3 million barrels.

"There’s roughly a million barrels per day of Iranian crude (exports) left, and there is plenty of supply in the market to ease that transition and maintain stable prices," Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, said on Thursday.

Read more: Iran denounces 'illegal' US sanctions as oil waivers end