OPEC congratulates Iran's oil minister on reappointment

Bijan Zanganeh was appointed to a second term as Iran's oil minister during the weekend.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Aug. 21, 2017 at 9:26 AM
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Aug. 21 (UPI) -- OPEC looks forward to a durable and constructive relationship with member state Iran, its secretary general told the country's reappointed oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh.

The Iranian parliament during the weekend confirmed Zanganeh for a second term in office as the oil minister for a country that has the third largest oil reserves in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Isolated in part by sanctions, the country has seen some economic doors open in response to a multilateral agreement that brought sanctions relief in exchange for stepping back from its nuclear research program.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo sent a letter of congratulations to the minister, recognizing him as the longest serving energy minister among OPEC member states.

"I have no doubt that the constructive relationship that exists between the Islamic Republic of Iran and OPEC will continue to flourish during your tenure," the letter read. "Your reappointment is a vote for continuity, stability and further productive collaboration between OPEC and non-OPEC."

OPEC is working to draw down the surplus of crude oil on the global market with managed production declines. Iran can still produce more oil, however, as it seeks to regain a market share lost to sanctions. The full agreement includes non-member states like Russia as contributors.

According to the Iranian oil ministry's website, Russia is in negotiations to buy around 100,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran. A deputy minister for international affairs in Iran said the contract with Russia will enter into force as early as September.

At home, Zanganeh said the "most important priority" was to draw capital to some of the oil fields that straddle the shared borders with Iraq and Qatar. The Azadegan complex along Iran's western border holds around 6 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves. The South Pars natural gas basin in the Persian Gulf is the largest in the world.

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