Gathering Storm For OPEC As Iran Lays Down The Gauntlet

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh caused a stir in Vienna at the start of OPEC’s 164th meeting, declaring intent to reclaim Iran’s share of the oil market even if it means a collapse in oil prices. Mr Zanganeh’s opening gambit set the stage for turbulent times ahead for the organization, should Iran emerge from sanctions and Iraq succeeds in attaining higher output targets.

OPEC ended a short meeting with a decision to roll over its 30mn b/d output ceiling, in place since January 2012, effectively postponing to a later date any difficult decisions on how to absorb rising Iraqi and Iranian production, the potential return of Libyan oil and additional output from the North American shale boom. They also skirted the contentious issue of electing a new secretary general by extending the mandate of ‘Abd Allah al-Badri rather than argue over a choice between the Iranian, Saudi and Iraqi candidates. (CONTINUED - 997 WORDS)