LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC members’ compliance with the agreement to reduce output has improved in recent months, Iran’s oil minister said on Monday, noting that unofficial talks were underway among the oil producing countries to extend the cuts next year.
Under the agreement OPEC is curbing its collective oil production by about 1.2 million bpd, while Russia and some other non-OPEC producers are cutting a further 600,000 bpd until March 2018.
“I think the oil market is balanced. OPEC members’ compliance with output cuts has not fallen in the last six months; it has increased,” Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the Iranian oil ministry’s news agency SHANA.
The International Energy Agency said in July that OPEC’s compliance with production cuts fell in June to its lowest levels in six months as several members pumped much more oil than allowed by their supply deal, thus delaying a market rebalancing in supply and demand.
However, the IEA said in August that world oil demand would grow more than expected this year, helping to ease the glut in supply.
Zanganeh said the OPEC agreement on output cuts would continue until the end of the Iranian year in March 2018 and that “there are talks underway to extend it but they are not official yet.”
However, before a meeting in Tehran with Brazil’s Minister of Mines and Energy Fernando Coelho Filho, Iran’s oil minister said, “it is improbable that Brazil (a non-OPEC country) joins the output cut under current conditions.”
He added that other non-OPEC members, especially Russia, have co-operated well with OPEC in cutting oil production.
Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Greg Mahlich