Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has indicated that the country sees $70 per barrel as a suitable oil price. He however said that Iran would be satisfied with less but did not elaborate.
Iran's ISNA news agency said that Iran would only join talks with other oil producers on a possible freeze of oil production after its own output reached 4 million barrels of oil per day, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar floated the idea of a production cap in February to boost global oil prices but it was conditional on other producers joining.
A meeting between oil producers to discuss a global deal on freezing production is unlikely to take place in Russia as scheduled on 20 March, Reuters reported, quoting sources familiar with the matter. It blamed this on Iran which has yet to confirm whether it would participate in such a deal.
So far Iran has resisted joining such talks as it is keen to kick start its oil industry. It is trying to regain its share of the global petroleum market following the removal of international sanctions after a deal was reached over its nuclear programme in January.
Iran's crude exports fell to just over 1 million bopd in recent years following the sanctions. Its peak production before 2011 hit as high as 2.5 million bopd. The country's oil exports are expected to reach 2 million bopd in the Iranian month that ends on 19 March from 1.75 million the previous month, Zanganeh said.
Referring to whether Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will be trying to convince Iran to join the oil freeze output talks during a visit this week, Zanganeh said: "They should leave us alone as long as Iran's crude oil has not reached 4 million. We will accompany them afterwards."
Zanganeh said the idea of a production freeze by Iran was a "joke", according to a State run TV. He also said that US companies are welcome to invest in the country's oil and gas industry.
"In general, we have no problem with the presence of American companies in Iran," he said. However, he did point out that the US government was "creating restrictions for these companies" without elaborating, according to the State TV.
The minister also confirmed that Iran's state-run oil company has held talks with General Electric. "Of course, my deputy conducted these negotiations and when I inquired about them, it was said that the talks were positive.