Iran warns OPEC members against taking over oil exports

Iran warns OPEC members against taking over oil exports
Tehran is concerned about Saudi Arabia's offer to pump more oil as US sanctions threaten Iranian sales.
2 min read
19 August, 2018
Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said it will no longer report individual conformity levels [Getty]

Member countries should not be allowed to take over another member's share of oil exports, Iran told OPEC on Sunday, repeating concerns about Saudi Arabia’s offer to increase oil production.

In a meeting with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo, a senior Iranian diplomat urged him to keep the group out of politics.

"No country is allowed to take over the share of other members for production and exports of oil under any circumstance, and the OPEC Ministerial Conference has not issued any licence for such actions," Kazem Gharibabadi, the permanent envoy was reported as saying by Iran's news agency Shana.

The comments come after US President Donald Trump launched an attack on OPEC accusing it of "manipulating" the oil market.

He warned "they better stop it", after demanding they increase production by 2 million barrels per day to counter the heavy sanctions on Iranian oil exports that Trump himself imposed.

Members of OPEC agreed to pump an additional 1 million barrels of crude daily in June, a move that should help contain prices. Saudi Arabia pledged a "measurable" supply boost, but gave no definite numbers.

Iran's oil minister had previously warned its Saudi counterpart the OPEC supply pact from last year does not give member countries the right to raise oil production above their targets.

While no country was named, OPEC's biggest producer is Saudi Arabia, and they reported that the kingdom had pumped 10.489 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, up 459,000 from May and above its target of just over 10 million bpd.

"Iran believes that OPEC should strongly support its members at this stage and stop the plots of countries trying to politicise this organisation," Gharibabadi said.

Trump's motive behind lashing out at OPEC is probably linked to the fact that summer months in the US usually sees increased demand for oil, pushing up the price of gasoline ahead of the mid-term elections this year.

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