Iran snubs Doha proposal, won't freeze on oil output levels

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran on Wednesday snubbed a proposal agreed to by four influential oil producers to cap their crude output if others do the same, with a senior Oil Ministry official saying Tehran has no intention of freezing oil output levels.

See Full Article

Mahdi Asali, Iran's OPEC envoy, said his country will in fact keep increasing its crude exports until it reaches levels attained before international sanctions were imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.

Asali's comments came as Iran's oil minister held a four-way, closed-door talks in Tehran with his counterparts from Iraq, Venezuela and Qatar.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar conditionally agreed to cap their output at last month's levels in order to halt a slide that has pushed oil prices to their lowest point in more than a decade. Oil prices recently plummeted below $30 a barrel, the lowest in 13 years.

The four countries made their announcement following an unexpected meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha that pointedly did not include Iran. They agreed to act only if other producers made similar freezes.

Asali said the fall in oil prices should be blamed on oversupply and that it was up to Saudi Arabia and others to cut down production to boost oil prices. He said the four nations that participated at the Doha gathering could stabilize oil prices on their own - if they cut their production by 2 million barrels a day.

"These countries increased their production by 4 million barrels when Iran was under sanctions," Asali was quoted as saying by the Shargh daily. "Now it's primarily their responsibility to help restore balance on the market. There is no reason for Iran to do so."

Iran is eager to ramp up its exports now that sanctions related to its nuclear program have been lifted, saying recently it aims to put another 500,000 barrels a day on the market. Figures from the International Energy Agency show it pumped 2.9 million barrels daily in December, before sanctions were lifted.

Iran used to export 2.3 million barrels per day but its crude exports fell to 1 million in 2012.

On Tuesday, Iran's petroleum minister, Bijar Namdar Zangeneh, signalled the Islamic Republic has no intention of giving up its share of the market. He acknowledged that global markets are "oversupplied," but said Iran "will not overlook its quota," according to comments carried by his ministry's Shana news service.

Even with Iran's co-operation, it was unclear if the Doha plan would be enough to put a floor under prices.

The United Arab Emirates' energy minister, Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei's, refused on Wednesday to discuss the Doha proposal after giving a keynote address at a Dubai conference in which he mentioned low oil prices only in passing.

"I will only talk about this conference," he said, before smiling and walking away from reporters' shouted questions.

He later took to Twitter to say his country's oil policy "is open to co-operate with all producers toward mutual interest of the market stability and we are optimistic on the future."

Kuwait, another Gulf OPEC member, signalled it was willing to go along with the Doha plan.

Anas al-Saleh, who is Kuwait's deputy premier, finance minister and acting oil minister, said in a statement his country was committed to the proposal if others join in.

"Kuwait hopes the agreement would provide a positive atmosphere for oil prices, and for the market to regain balance, and calls on all to support stability of markets," he said.

Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell and Adam Schreck in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • U.S. economy expanded at weakest pace in 3 years in first quarter of 2017

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy turned in the weakest performance in three years in the January-March quarter as consumers sharply slowed their spending. The result fell far short of President Donald Trump's ambitious growth targets and underscores the challenges of accelerating economic expansion. Source
  • Montreal landlord fined after tenants rent out condo illegally

    Economic CTV News
    A Montreal landlord says he’s been fined more than $1,200 because the tenant living in his condo listed the space on Airbnb without his knowledge. Gerry Galiatsatos said his unit came with tenants when he purchased it less than a year ago. Source
  • Swedish cows in a great moooo-d as summer pastures open

    Economic CTV News
    DROTTNINGHOLM, Sweden -- Despite a cold wind and chilling temperatures, spring has come to Sweden. At least, spring for the milk cows. In an annual event that warms hearts across the country, "koslapp" -- the cow release -- has become a popular family outing for urban residents. Source
  • Trump to spend Day 100 in office talking trade

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump is marking his 100th day in office by talking tough on trade.Trump's first 100: Day-by-day highlights Analysis: We've read all President Trump's tweets, so you don't have to The White House says the president will sign an executive order Saturday that will direct his Commerce Department and the U.S. Source
  • Trump says he's brought 'profound change' to Washington

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday marked his 100th day in office by saying he had brought "profound change" to Washington and reaffirming that "my only allegiance" is to those he governs.Trump's first 100: Day-by-day highlights Analysis: We've read all President Trump's tweets, so you don't have to During an evening trip to Pennsylvania, one of the states that propelled his unlikely election victory, Trump planned to sign an executive order directing the Commerce Department…
  • 'Not for the faint of heart': Why getting a marijuana producer licence is a long shot

    Economic CBC News
    The regulatory gates to Canada's legal marijuana regime are open, but only a crack. Health Canada has received 1,630 applications for licences to grow or sell medical cannabis as of March 31. Only 43 licences have been approved so far, representing just 2.6 per cent of the total applications. Source
  • Trump will zero in on trade agreements during 100th day

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump will spend his 100th day in office talking tough on trade in one of the states that delivered his unlikely win. The president is expected to sign an executive order Saturday that will direct his Commerce Department and the U.S. Source
  • B.C. leader could drag Canada into unwanted battle with U.S. on softwood: expert

    Economic CTV News
    BURNABY, B.C. -- A vow by British Columbia's Liberal leader to fight American tariffs on softwood lumber may force the federal government to wage an unwanted battle with the United States, an international trade expert says. Source
  • Hacker threatens to release stolen copies of Netflix series

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- A hacker claims to have stolen the upcoming season of Netflix's hit series "Orange Is The New Black," and is asking for an unspecified ransom to not release the entire fifth season online. Source
  • Hacker releases stolen copies of Netflix series

    Economic CTV News
    A hacker claims to have followed through on a threat to release several episodes from the upcoming season of Netflix's hit series "Orange Is The New Black." The hacker, which goes by the name The Dark Overlord, announced the move on Twitter early Saturday. Source