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Iran to continue oil production despite competitors' freeze agreement

Iran has welcomed a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia plan to cut oil output, but has made no commitment to cutting its own production. 24 Feb 2016

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh told reporters that "The decision taken so that OPEC members and non-OPEC (countries) freeze their production ceiling in a bid to stabilise the market and improve prices in the interest of consumer and producer is supported by us," official Iranian news agency Shana has reported.

"I hope that with the efforts which have been initiated, we would witness improvement of the market’s situation in future … This is the initial step and we have to look at it positively. But I think everybody agrees that we have to monitor the market situation and reaction and to consult on the next steps if necessary," Zangeneh said, according to Shana.

Iran's crude oil exports will reach 1.5 million bpd next month as Tehran moves to benefit from sanctions relief, Customs Today has reported.

“Today, our oil exports have reached 1.3 million bpd, which will reach 1.5 million bpd by March,” Iran’s vice president Es’haq Jahangiri told Customs Today on Saturday. Iran will be exporting 2 million bpd in the next Iranian calendar year, which starts on March 21, the report said.

Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed this week to freeze oil production to reduce the growing oversupply in the market and allow prices to recover.

However, the two companies said that the deal would be dependent on other producers joining the agreement, Reuters reported.

Saudi, Russian, Qatari and Venezuelan oil ministers said that production would be frozen at January 2016 levels, Reuters said

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said last month that Iran plans to boost its output by an immediate 500,000 bpd. This could lead to the market "drown[ing] in oversupply" this year, keeping prices low, it said.