TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran’s oil minister said on Sunday that $100 for a barrel of crude was appropriate and there was no need to hold an emergency OPEC meeting to discuss the price.
“The price of $100 for oil per barrel is real ... OPEC does not need to hold an emergency meeting over the price issue,” Massoud Mirkazemi told a news conference.
Brent crude prices rallied this week to around $98 a barrel while U.S. oil futures were at about $91, well above the $70-$80 range that OPEC’s top exporter Saudi Arabia says is comfortable for both producers and consumers.
One delegate from a Gulf OPEC member state told Reuters on Thursday OPEC could hold an emergency meeting if oil prices “exceed $100 and stay there”.
Libya, Ecuador and Venezuela have all said prices need to be higher to help producing nations maintain output.
“None of the OPEC members find $100 concerning,” Mirkazemi said, adding that some members of the producers’ group would still not see any need for an emergency meeting if the price rose to $110 or $120.
Iran holds the rotating OPEC presidency. The next scheduled OPEC meeting is on June 2.
“None of the members have asked for an emergency meeting and I think for a long time there would be no such request,” Mirkazemi said.
Analysts are divided between those who see fundamental strength as the world economy recovers, driving up fuel consumption, and those who focus on differences between today’s relatively well-supplied market and that of 2008, when oil prices raced to an all-time high of nearly $150 a barrel.
OPEC ready to act but not due to speculators
VIENNA: OPEC is ready to act to address supply shortages in the oil market but not to counter price moves caused by speculation, Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri told an Austrian newspaper.
The group is monitoring the situation closely, and “OPEC will intervene to stabilise the market if the market is imbalanced. OPEC will not intervene because of speculators,” he told Wirtschaftsblatt in excerpts of an interview posted on its website on Saturday.
The paper said Badri thought speculation was the primary reason that prices had reached current levels, but it did not provide a direct quotation from him about this.
Brent crude oil rose above $99 a barrel on Friday, helping lift U.S. oil prices despite China’s latest move to tighten credit.
Oil analysts have said oil is unlikely to surge to near $150 this year, as it did in 2008, partly because there is more oil in storage, more fuel capacity at refiners and more idle oil wells.