Iran calls proposed Saudi-Russian oil-output freeze ‘ridiculous’


TEHRAN (Bloomberg) -- Iran called a proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia to freeze oil production “ridiculous” as it seeks to boost its own output after years of sanctions constrained sales.

The proposal by Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar for oil producers to cap output at January levels puts “unrealistic demands” on Iran, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Tuesday, according to the ministry’s news agency Shana.

“It is very ridiculous, they come up with the proposal on freezing oil production and call for this freeze to take place in their 10 million barrels a day production vis-a-vis Iran’s 1 million barrels a day” planned production boost, he said. “If Iran’s crude oil production falls, it will be overtaken considerably by the neighboring countries.”

The three OPEC members and Russia are seeking to stop the 40% drop in oil prices over the past year caused by a global crude glut. Iran is seeking to boost output by 1 MMbpd this year after international sanctions on its oil industry were lifted last month.

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