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‘Oil market not negatively affected by Iran crude upsurge’

File photo of Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh (L) answering reporters. (AFP)

Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh says the country’s recent oil surge has not negatively affected the global oil market.

Speaking ahead of departing for Vienna, Austria for the 169th convention of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Zangeneh said Wednesday that not only Iran’s doubling of oil output left the market unperturbed, the push was evenly cushioned and well absorbed by the oil market, IRNA reported.

The Iranian minister threw Tehran’s support behind OPEC’s managerial role in stabilizing the market and said Iran backs OPEC’s position in trying to maximize members’ interests.

Meanwhile, Iran’s representative to OPEC, Mehdi Asali, has reportedly reiterated Tehran's earlier position on an output freeze that the country will not consider lowering its production until full market stability.

OPEC, which pumps around a third of the world's oil or some 30 million barrels every day, will convene on Thursday to review production.

Oil prices dipped in Asia Wednesday as traders cautiously await the results of the OPEC meeting this week.

Crude prices have rebounded from their January lows of under $30, and last week briefly pushed past $50 a barrel for the first time this year as the market gained support from production outages in Canada and Nigeria.

Analysts say the recent recovery in prices has also eased pressure on OPEC to turn down the oil taps.

Recent market figures show the imports of Iranian crude by its Asian clients increased by more than 13 percent in April from a year ago, confirming reports that the country is regaining the share of the oil market it lost as a result of sanctions over its nuclear program.

For several years before 2012, Iran exported around 2.5 million bpd, with more than half going to Asia, mainly China, South Korea, India and Japan. 

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