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Opec set to extend oil supply cut as Iran endorses pact

VIENNA The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies look set to extend oil supply cuts this week at least until the end of this year as Iran joined top producers Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Russia in endorsing a policy aimed at propping up the price of crude in a weakening global economy.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters yesterday he would support prolonging output cuts by six to nine months. Teheran has in the past objected to policies put forward by arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

"I have no problem with a production cut ... It's going to be an easy meeting as my stance is very clear," Mr Zanganeh said on arriving in Vienna.

The United States is not a member of Opec, nor is it participating in the supply pact. Washington has slapped fresh sanctions on Teheran over its nuclear programme, and has demanded that Riyadh pump more oil to compensate for lower exports from Iran.

Opec and its allies led by Russia have been reducing oil output since 2017 to prevent prices from sliding amid soaring production from the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he had agreed with Saudi Arabia to extend existing output cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day, or 1.2 per cent of global demand, by six to nine months.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the deal would most likely be extended by nine months.

- REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE