Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran has no plans to freeze its oil production at current levels.
“It’s not our agenda to reach agreement in these two days,” Zanganeh told Bloomberg Television in an interview Tuesday.
The Iranian oil minister is attending an informal meeting underway between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Algeria on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF). The two-day event will run until on September 28.
“We are here for the IEF and to have a consultative informal meeting in OPEC to exchange views. Not more,” he added.
Noting that Iran wants to raise its crude production to 4 million barrels a day, Zanganeh said the country wants to get back its pre-sanctions share of OPEC production of about 13 percent.
Back in April, the top Iranian oil official dismissed the idea of Iran joining other oil-producing countries in a possible freeze of production to counter low prices, insisting that Iran will by no means relinquish its “historical” share in the global oil market.
On June 2, OPEC members discussed freezing oil output following the Doha meeting in April after OPEC and major non-OPEC oil producers failed to agree on freezing oil output at January 2016 levels to shore up prices.
Tehran refused to join the previous attempt in April as it was striving to maximize its oil output after coming into force of a lasting nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
However, it may attend the upcoming meeting as it has been boosting output following the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions in January and is reaching its pre-sanctions production level.
Iran now reportedly produces around 3.8 million bpd of oil. The sanctions had cut crude exports from a peak of 2.5 million bpd before 2011 to just over 1 million bpd in recent years.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)