Iran calls for cut in OPEC quotas

17 April 2003
Iran on 17 April called for OPEC to cut production to below the group's official ceiling of 24.5 million barrels a day (b/d), warning of a potential slump in prices. His view contrasts with that of most analysts, who suggest that the oversupply problem can be corrected by simply reining in production to comply with quotas. 'There is an oversupply in the market which, if not controlled, will lead to a sharp price collapse,' said Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. He also forecast swift increases in Iraqi production. 'If the restrictions on Iraq are lifted, Iraq's oil production can easily go up to 3.5 million b/d in less than a year. US Vice-President and director of oil services firm Halliburton, Dick Cheney, recently forecast Iraqi production of 3 million b/d by the end of 2003. Zanganeh said that Iran could not sustain the levels of production of recent weeks, because of a lack of spare parts and equipment.

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