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OPEC members concerned how Iran will return to oil market: Minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Photo shows Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh attending the first round of a two-day ministerial meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) via a video link from his office in Tehran on June 29, 2021.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says that some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are concerned about how a return of Iranian supplies to the international markets would affect the prices.

Zanganeh said on Thursday at the end of a virtual OPEC ministerial meeting that the organization expect a future administration in Iran to have a careful planning for a return to the international oil market as the country is expected to be relieved of more than three years of sanctions imposed by the United States.

Iran has been exempt of a series of cuts to global supply agreed between OPEC and allies, a grouping known as OPEC+. The country has already been pumping more oil to the markets as buyers prepare for a potential easing of sanctions if Tehran and world powers agree to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that had been abandoned by a former US government in 2018.

The return of Iranian supplies is expected to affect prices that have been recovering as a result of easing of coroanvirus restrictions around the world.

Zanganeh said OPEC secretary general had briefly raised the issue of Iran’s return to oil markets during the Thursday meeting.

He said OPEC members were slightly worried how Iran's return would take place in practice.

“I think the most urgent work for the future administration is to manage Iran’s return to the oil market after the lifting of the sanctions,” said the minister as he prepares to hand over his post to a next holder in late August.

Latest OPEC figures show that Iran has had the highest monthly increase in oil production to well above 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in May.

The figure is still below the 3.8 million bpd of output recorded before US sanctions were imposed.  

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