15:51 GMT20 September 2020
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    ABU DHABI (Sputnik), Anastasia Dmitrieva - US waivers on Iran sanctions for some oil importers or the sanctions themselves did not impact oil prices, the excessive production did, Oil Minister Mohammed Rumhi told Sputnik on the sidelines of the ADIPEC conference on Monday.

    "What is driving the prices down is not the waiver or the impact of sanctions upwards or downwards, but if we produce too much. The price will go down with or without Iran. So I can hope that we can come up with a decision on that. We are producing too much right now," Rumhi said, asked if US waivers granted to eight importers of Iranian crude contributed to oil prices dropping below $70 per barrel.

    READ MORE: Saudi Energy Minister Assures No Plans to Eliminate OPEC

    The minister also noted that his country supports potential oil output decrease of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers.

    "Do I support the cut of 1 million barrels per day? I support the cut but we don't know the level of cut until we meet in December," Rumhi said, adding that Oman was prepared to "contribute whatever is necessary" in order to support any cut.

    In an attempt to stabilize the oil prices, OPEC and several non-OPEC producers signed the oil output cut deal in Vienna in 2016. The countries agreed to cut oil production by a total of 1.8 million barrels per day. The deal, which came into effect in 2017, has been extended twice since then and will remain in force until the end of 2018.

    US Response to Gas Pipeline

    Rumhi also expressed his hopes for Washington's approval of the project of a gas pipeline from Iran to Oman, despite the sanction, imposed by the US on Tehran.

    "We are still discussing [the project] and we are not sure what is the American policy on that particular project, but we are good friends of Iran and of the United States and maybe we can negotiate a good deal to please everybody. Gazprom is still in this project, and if we have Russia, Iran and the United States it will be fantastic," the minister said.

    READ MORE: Tehran Wants Gazprom to Join Iran-Oman Gas Pipeline Project — Deputy Minister

    He also noted that the project is at a very advanced stage, so it would be very disappointing to stop it.

    The Iran-Oman gas pipeline project is expected to connect Iran's gas reserves with Omani consumers and LNG plants so that Oman could re-export the gas. According to Tehran, it would export 28.3 million cubic meters of gas per day to Oman through a direct pipeline, which would bypass the United Arab Emirates.

    Negotiations With Bahrain

    Meanwhile, Bahrain continues talks with Russia's energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft on potential import of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Bahraini Minister of Oil Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa told Sputnik on Monday.

    "We are talking to them still. We are still working with them. Currently, we are looking at our demand cycle, we are still not fully finished with that," the minister said.

    According to Al Khalifa, the construction of LNG terminal in the country is almost finished and it is expected to start operation early next year.

    READ MORE: Anti-Qatar Measures Benefited Situation in Arab States — Bahrain Diplomat

    "It’s almost finished, it will start operating in the first quarter of 2019," the minister said.

    Bahraini Ambassador to Russia Ahmed Saati told Sputnik in June last year that the country was expecting LNG deliveries from Russia to begin in early 2019. Gazprom and Bahrain signed a memorandum of understanding on LNG cooperation in September 2016.


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    Crude oil, Oil, gas pipeline, OPEC, Iran, United States, Oman
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