Monday, 24 April, 2017

OPEC: An Indispensable Imperative

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By A.R.Ghofrani

The 171st OPEC oil ministers meeting did wrap up on November 31 in Vienna. Reportedly to fix and rally the crude prices as well as rebalancing the markets, the ministers did strike a deal for cutting OPEC production ceiling and they agree that Iran would not reduce the production but may increase it.

OPEC decision is notable and important in two perspectives; in fact it indicates that the very existence of Organization, in present international conditions, is significant and unavoidable.

First, it manifests once more that this international organization (it has only 13 member states, though given the oil and the global need for hydrocarbons; it is just an international body), being contingent on two principles, could avert a crisis, when the over production had caused a glut in global oil markets and that absolutely was not to the benefit of producing countries. Fix and rallying the prices as well as balancing the markets are two basic principles OPEC depends on. Actually in Wednesday, having these principles in mind the OPEC member states could strike a deal.

Furthermore, since OPEC decisions and activities are in line with those of non OPEC producers’, this will, by and large, restore stability in the oil markets. Russia is the largest non OPEC producers and has always been accorded with the organization decisions, because it is well aware that this will serve its best interests. Having all this in mind, it is now quite obvious that OPEC has to remain powerful and undoubtedly no one will benefit a week organization.

Iran, as one of the founders of OPEC, has always attached far too importance to the organization and not spared any attempts to support and uphold it.Its decision that Iran, as the second largest OPEC producer, would not cut her production and even increase it, is pretty fair and plausible and meanwhile by this there will be no problem as far as the other members and as well as the world oil markets are concerned. It is worthy to note that because of unfair and illegitimate sanctions imposed on Iran through the past couple of years, this country could not export its entitled share, so by OPEC decision not only this problem may be worked out to some extent but it proves again that OPEC still is the best venue to resolve the issues of the member states concerning the oil.  The last but not the least is that OPEC provide one third of global oil production and more important is that the largest member states are in the critical  strategic region of the Persian Gulf . So  the best interests of the member states in this region will be served if OPEC grows more powerful .At the meantime this is beneficial to consumers that OPEC has never ignore it and serving the interests of consuming countries has been and still is one of its important objectives.

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