TEHRAN (Iran News) – OPEC has managed to raise crude prices and stabilize the oil market, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Monday.
“OPEC’s performance has been successful because the price of oil has risen from $16 in May to around $45 and has stabilized,” Zanganeh said at a briefing in Tehran.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on record output cuts to tackle the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters wrote.
Zanganeh also said four tankers whose fuel was seized by the US over the past month en route to Venezuela were carrying gasoline loaded in Iran.
“The cargoes were loaded from Iran, but neither the ships nor the cargoes belonged to Iran, and the US declared victory for itself in the middle of this,” Zanganeh said.
“The fuel was Iranian, but it had been sold to Venezuela and its payment had been cleared.”
The seizure was an unprecedented step by Washington, which said the ships contained 1.1 million barrels of petroleum.
It’s unclear where the ships were at the time of the seizures because they had all turned off their satellite-tracking systems to avoid detection, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Neither is it clear whether the US still holds the vessels or has released them.
Two of the four Venezuela-bound ships are registered to the same address in Piraeus, Greece as the Wila, according to a United Nations database. All four are managed by the owner of the Wila or its offshoots, according to maritime intelligence company Lloyd’s List.
Iran has been exporting gasoline to Venezuela in defiance of US sanctions that are intended to choke off both nations’ oil revenue. Venezuela has the world’s largest crude reserves, but in recent years production has plummeted and its refineries have fallen into disrepair because of US sanctions.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews