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Iran's Zanganeh says oil output surplus up to 2.4 mil b/d; adds Iran will seek exemption from OPEC cuts

Iran will seek an exemption from OPEC proposals to cut production, adding that the group of oil producers is close to securing an agreement as talks begin in Vienna, the country's oil minister said Thursday.

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Bijan Zanganeh told reporters OPEC was considering how to deal with a projected 1.3 million b/d to 2.4 million b/d surplus and urged ministers to reach an agreement that would "benefit the majority of members." He added that Russia and OPEC were close to securing a deal.

OPEC officials are gathered in Vienna for their final meeting of the year to head off further declines in prices. Brent crude has dropped to below $60/b after reaching $86/b in October amid concerns over oversupply and slowing global demand.

Zanganeh told reporters a price between $60/b and $70/b was acceptable for Iran.

The Islamic Republic faces restrictions on its oil output because of US sanctions, which have already reduced its production to below 3 million b/d last month, according to the latest survey by S&P Global Platts.

"I think they should understand our situation and we expect them to cooperate with us. It is the minimum cooperation but if they don't want to do it we won't accept that," said Zanganeh.

--Staff, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com