Iran oil minister backs OPEC+ deal extension, criticises 'unilateralism'

Bijan Zanganeh will not oppose a deal to extend output cuts through the second half of the year

Bijan zanganeh, Alexander novak, Khalid al-Falih, OPEC

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting in Vienna that he would approve the extension of the OPEC+ deal to curb production regardless if the term was for six or nine months, but criticised what he calls "unilateralism" in the organisation.

"Our position is very clear. I have no difficulty with the extension of the cut or more cuts but my problem is with unilateralism. I have no difficulty, I don't want to block the cut," Zanganeh said.

"It's not only my mission, it's a matter of OPEC as well, because this unilateralism threatens OPEC as a whole, not only Iran. It's against the existence of OPEC, the solidarity and unity of OPEC," he added.

Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to extend cuts during the G20 summit in Japan, but it was unclear if Iran would oppose the extension. The OPEC and non-OPEC alliance, known as OPEC+, agreed in December to cut production by 1.2mn barrels per day until July 2019.

Despite production cuts, as well as the impact of US sanctions on Iran's output as well as the economic crisis in Venezuela, growth in US production, which cracked 12.5mbpd, according to Rystad Energy, have seen stock levels build up.

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