Iran Calls for OPEC Output Cut to Protect Prices

A02982922.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari on Thursday called for a two million barrel reduction in OPEC production level to stabilize falling prices in the light of the global economic crisis.

“Two million will stabilize” the market, Nozari told reporters on arrival in the Austrian capital. On Tuesday he had said that Iran was looking for a cut of between two and 2.5 million barrels per day.

“The rate of reduction of demand is good for a cut,” said Nozari.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are calling for a cut to the cartel’s output to help shore up oil prices, which have tumbled in recent weeks as a global economic slowdown slashes demand.

Analysts expect the cartel to decide on a reduction of over one million barrels per day when it meets for an extraordinary meeting on Friday.

OPEC produces 40 percent of the world’s oil and its official output quota stands at 28.8 million barrels per day.

Iran is the second largest exporter in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries following Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter of crude.

Oil futures on Wednesday tumbled to 16-month lows, mainly on news that demand for crude is slumping in the United States, the world’s biggest energy consumer.

Prices slid under 65 dollars a barrel in London, down about 56 percent from a record high of 147.5 dollars reached in July.

They recovered slightly in Asian trading on Thursday, with Brent up 24 cents at 64.76 dollars a barrel.

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