June 5, 2013 (TSR) – Iran’s oil minister shrugged off the effects of sanctions on its oil industry on Friday, noting that a drop in crude exports was being made up for by international sales of gasoline and other refined products.

Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi spoke Friday ahead of an OPEC meeting held amid new challenges threatening both the organization’s unity and its traditional role as the world heavyweight in determining prices and supplies.
The meeting is formally focused on how much oil to pump. With prices largely at acceptable levels, the ministers are expected to maintain the cartel’s target at 30 million barrels a day. However, members may be asked to cut back on overproduction, now said to be running at over 500,000 barrels a day.
Beyond prices and output, though, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries faces more complex issues, including surging shale oil production in the U.S. and a potentially destabilizing spat between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Iran used to be OPEC’s second-largest producer after the Saudis.
Ghasemi told reporters that “production has not changed,” although he did not specify over what time period he was talking about. He said any shortfall in exporting crude was being made up by sales of domestically refined gasoline and other products.

Iran pioneering OPEC oil production cuts

Iran has been pioneering the reduction of oil cuts, along with Venezuela and Algeria ahead of OPEC 163rd session in Vienna.

During his recent interview with MNA, Rostam Ghasemi, Iran’s Oil Minister, announced calling for reducing OPEC oil production to stop the free fall of the black gold prices.

Soon after arrival to Vienna, he had a behind-closed-doors meeting with Youcef Yousfi, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister and Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela’s Oil Minister, on the three countries’ common positions on oil policies.

Kuwait’s oil minister as the most strategic ally of the Saudi Arabia, has resigned on the eve of the summit, while it is holding the rotating presidency of OPEC in 2013.

Meanwhile, Gholam Hossein Nozari, Iran’s nominee for the post of secretary general of OPEC in a recent interview with MNA said: “If oil prices continue to fall below $ 100, OPEC will review this issue in Vienna’s meeting.”

Ghasemi reiterated in his interview with MNA that the current world oil prices were low and rejected the falling Iran’s standing in OPEC, and said that “from the Islamic Republic’s point of view, $100 price is the bottom pricing for world oil market.”



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