March 4, 2020 / 11:40 AM / a month ago

Oil market faces surplus and needs balancing: Iran oil minister

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh arrives at the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, Austria December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday that the oil market was facing a surplus and needed to be balanced, SHANA, the news site of the Iranian oil ministry, reported.

“There is no doubt that there is an imbalance in the supply and demand of oil. Right now, the supply in the market is greater than demand,” Zanganeh said. “It’s necessary for OPEC and non-OPEC to make all their efforts to balance the market.”

Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are due to meet this week in Vienna to discuss new oil output cuts to support oil prices. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members are seeking to win support from Russia for the output cuts.

“Based on the recommendation of the Joint Technical Committee and the secretariat, there must be a decrease of at least 500,000 barrels a day approximately in oil production,” Zanganeh said.

Russia will resist against a cut in production “until the last moment”, Zanganeh said.

Iran’s crude oil exports were reduced by more than 80% after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic in 2018 and reimposed sanctions.

Iran is facing a coronavirus outbreak with 92 deaths and 2,922 infections.

“It has had no effect on the production of Iran’s oil and we are producing like before,” SHANA reported Zanganeh as saying.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman

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