Iran's Zanganeh says OPEC unlikely to change output deal this year: TV

FILE PHOTO - Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said OPEC was unlikely to change before the end of the year a deal among oil producers to reduce output, Iran’s English language Press TV reported on Thursday.

“Russians can pull out of the deal as they have made no commitment to OPEC to remain in the agreement until the end of 2018. OPEC also can change its decision but I doubt they will do it,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Members of OPEC and non-OPEC players including Russia have reduced their output since January 2017 under a pact aimed at supporting prices and reducing oversupply.

The pact currently runs until the end of 2018. Iran is allowed to pump up to 3.8 million bpd under the deal.

Zanganeh told the Wall Street Journal newspaper that OPEC when it meets in June could agree to begin easing current curbs in 2019.

Zanganeh also told the WSJ that Iran wanted OPEC to work to keep oil prices at around $60 per barrel to contain U.S. shale oil production, adding that Iran could produce about 100,000 bpd more. He did not say when Iran could raise its output.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Jason Neely