Monday, December 06, 2004

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Latest Business News and Financial Information | "All Options Open for OPEC Meeting - Iran

By Christian Oliver and Amir Paivar
TEHRAN (Reuters) - All options, including cutting quotas, are up for discussion when OPEC ministers meet in Cairo this week to plan their response to a sharp fall in prices, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Monday.

Asked whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) might consider cutting quotas and not just rein in oversupply above official quota limits, Zanganeh said:

"We'll discuss everything at this OPEC meeting. Everything is still open."

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an oil and gas conference in Tehran, Zanganeh said OPEC "must be very concerned about prices" which fell 14 percent last week on signs of healthier winter fuel inventories in top consumer the United States.

"The first step is to be committed to what OPEC has decided and for members to observe their production quotas," he said.

"In the second instance we should decide what to do for the next quarter," he added.

The OPEC meeting in Cairo begins Friday to plan production policy for the first quarter of 2005.

Iran, the cartel's second largest producer after Saudi Arabia, has expressed repeated concern in recent weeks about oversupply of crude in the oil markets, which it has put at two million barrels a day (bpd).

A Reuters survey of October's output for the group's 10 members with quotas put total production about 900,000 bpd over the November ceiling of 27 million bpd.

"Oil demand is already being met with the oil produced. Reserves are in a good position," Zanganeh said Monday."


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