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Iran to push for Saudi oil output cut at OPEC

THE LEVANT – Iran will try to persuade Saudi Arabia to cut oil production when the oil ministers from the two OPEC members meet this week in Vienna, Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Sunday citing a television interview with the country’s oil minister.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Nov. 27 to set its output policy and some of its members have called for output cuts to shore up oil prices.

Brent crude oil has lost about 30 percent of its value since June to around $80 a barrel because of abundant supplies and weakening demand.

“Iran’s oil minister will meet his Saudi counterpart in Vienna to persuade the oil giant for cuts in oil production and supply,” Mehr reported.

But an agreement on an OPEC output cut at this week’s meeting is uncertain. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, has yet to say whether it supports one.

OPEC delegates expect a difficult meeting, and analysts are split over the outcome.

Iran’s oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said he would meet with his Saudi counterpart Ali al-Naimi in Vienna to talk about market share as Tehran aims to boost its oil exports if sanctions against it end, according to the official news agency IRNA on Thursday.

Iran has said the steep fall in oil prices this year is the result of deliberate moves by some exporters which have kept production high to undermine Tehran’s sanctions-hit economy. The country is struggling to offset a wide budget imbalance created by the drop in oil prices.

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