Iran Says Emergency Meeting of OPEC Might Stop Slide of Oil

Bijan Zanganeh the Minister of Oil in Iran said Sunday that holding an emergency meeting of OPEC might be an effective way in stabilizing the price of oil, reported Shana the news agency for the oil ministry in Iran.

Algeria announced earlier in the month that OPEC or the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could have an emergency meeting so they could discuss the fall in the prices of oil but other delegates in OPEC said there was no meeting planned.

Zanganeh told a group of reporters in Iran’s capital of Tehran that Iran endorsed having an emergency meeting of OPEC.

Prices of U.S. oil fell below the $40 per barrel threshold Friday for just the first time in 6 years pressured by the signs of an oil glut in the U.S. and weak manufacturing data out of China.

OPEC does not have another meeting scheduled until December 4. While rules in OPEC say just a simple majority is needed of the 12 members to hold an emergency meeting, some delegates of OPEC say a meeting is not likely unless Saudi Arabia favors one.

Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of oil in the world and along with other Gulf states has pushed the strategy shift of OPEC the past year to defend its market share instead of cutting output as a way to support prices.

Relatively wealthy, they can better cope with oil prices that are lower than can Venezuela, Iran or other members in Africa.

Delegates from OPEC see little chance the exporting group would divert from its current policy of defending its market share, although the most recent drop in oil prices is beginning to sour the mood of business even in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

U.S. shale production has continued which has caused in part the glut of oil in the U.S., while the slowdown in China and other weak economic numbers played a part as well.

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