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Saudis ‘disparage’ OPEC if increase oil output


Iran has strongly reacted to a purported plan by Saudi Arabia to increase its production of crude oil and says the alleged attempt would belittle the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which last week agreed to maintain supplies.

Iran’s OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili criticized the Saudi move which he said was in line with pressures by the United States.

OPEC and a group of non-OPEC countries agreed on Saturday that they would return to 100 percent compliance with previously agreed oil output cuts, after months of underproduction by OPEC countries including Venezuela and Angola.

However, media reported later that Saudi Arabia would boost output in July to 10.6 million barrels a day (bpd), 10.8 million bpd and 11.0 million bpd, up from its OPEC target of 10.058 million bpd.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the OPEC deal implied an indirect reallocation of extra production from countries unable to produce more oil to those, such as his own, that are able to do so, Reuters added.

On a related front, a senior official from the US State Department was recently quoted by media as saying that Washington would soon push Iran’s oil clients to stop purchases from the country.

The unnamed official said the countries purchasing oil from Iran should prepare themselves to completely stop the Iranian crude imports by November as Washington reimposes sanctions against Tehran.

“We will certainly be requesting that their [Iranian] oil imports go to zero, without question,” the official was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, an official at Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum was quoted by local media as saying that removing Iran’s crude oil from the market was an impossible move to make.

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