Iran takes OPEC presidency

Oct. 15, 2010 at 8:06 AM
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VIENNA, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Iran, jockeying for a top spot among oil-producing nations, takes over the presidency of the OPEC oil cartel for the first time in 36 years, Tehran said.

Iran said through the Oil Ministry's Petroenergy Information Network that Masoud Mir Kazemi, the country's oil minister, will fill the rotating presidency of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries starting in January.

The energy information network said the "economic situation of the different countries including industrialized countries, developing countries, oil stocks and oil prices were reviewed" during the latest OPEC meeting.

OPEC during its regular meeting in Vienna opted to leave production quotes unchanged but warned the market is particularly volatile as world economies struggle to come out of recession.

Iran ranks third behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela in crude oil reserves according to 2009 data from OPEC.

Baghdad last week raised its estimated oil reserves 24 percent to 143 billion barrels, ranking third behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Iran responded by overtaking its former adversary this week by raising its oil reserves to 150.3 billion barrels.

Iran, however, produces 3.7 million barrels of oil per day compared with 2.5 million barrels per day in Iraq.

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