Oil Futures Extend Gains After Iran Comments

By MarketWatchMarketWatch Pulse

Iran's oil minister on Wednesday said the country will support action aimed at allowing oil prices to recover, but also said other producers understand the Tehran's situation, the ministry's official Shana news agency reported, according to news reports. The minister, Bijan Zanganeh, was earlier quoted as saying that Iran would resist any efforts to curb its own production because it would be "illogical" to do so just as sanctions that have limited crude exports are lifted. Zanganeh was meeting Wednesday with officials from fellow Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members Iraq, Venezuela and Qatar to discuss a proposal tentatively agreed upon by Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC producer Russia to freeze production at January levels. Oil futures extended gains after the comments. March crude for delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up $1.53, or 5.3%, at $30.57 a barrel.

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