The crisis in the oil market requires global cooperation, the Iranian oil minister said on Wednesday stressing that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cannot address it alone, according to Iranian news agency IRNA.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Bijan Zangeneh noted the likely 3-million-barrel-per-day excess supply in the second quarter of 2020.
He said the coronavirus pandemic decreased demand by 11 million barrels, more than the expected 14 million barrels during the last OPEC meeting.
Zangeneh accused some oil-exporting countries, which started the oil crisis in March, of bolstering the situation by increasing their production.
The top oil official stressed that the excess supply must be eliminated from the market.
He urged that non-OPEC oil producers collaborate and slash their outputs, including American and Canadian shale oil producers, who did not commit to any output cuts.
WTI crude oil fell Monday into negative territory for the first time in history. The price of WTI under the futures contract, which expired on Tuesday, fell to as low as -$37.63 by plummeting more than -290%, indicating that the massive oversupply against low demand is forcing suppliers to pay buyers to unload their inventory.
Brent crude oil dived below the threshold of $20 per barrel on Tuesday. It fell to as low as $18.02 per barrel, marking its lowest level since February 2002, at 0935 GMT for a 29.27% daily loss after it closed Monday at $25.48 a barrel.
OPEC+ oil-producing nations agreed on April 12 to cut their total oil production starting from next month -- a decision that came a month late having previously met in Vienna, Austria on March 6.
The one-month delay to curb output, on top of implementing cuts from May 1 onwards, has left the global oil market with an excess of supply to add to the glut, which in turn has dramatically pushed down crude prices.
By Sibel Morrow