Iran Expects OPEC to Control Quotas

A04702521.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran, the number two oil producer in OPEC, expects the cartel to discuss ways of controlling the quotas of member countries at its next meeting in September, Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said.

“In case of the continuation of a downward trend in oil price, one of the serious discussions in the next OPEC meeting will be definitely the quotas,” the Islamic republic news agency quoted Nozari as saying.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to hold its next regular meeting on September 9 in Vienna.

“OPEC, as the responsible body to control the market, should be more meticulous for the control of quotas,” the oil minister said.

“The (member) countries that have increased their capacity should control it… The issue is that some countries have been supplying more than their quota,” he added.

Nozari said in July that Iran was against any hike in the cartel’s output quota despite continued high crude prices.

Iran receives the majority of its foreign currency earnings through oil exports and has vehemently resisted calls from consumer countries like the United States for a hike in the OPEC output quota.

Iran has repeatedly said the market is well-supplied and blames rising prices on speculation, a weak dollar and geopolitical tension. Iran also blames sanctions that have been imposed against Tehran as another major contributory factor to the rise in prices.

OPEC members have long maintained that factors beyond their control, such as speculation, a weakening US dollar, inadequate refining capacity and geopolitical tensions are behind the drive in crude oil prices.

Iran is the world’s fourth-largest crude oil producer and tension created by the US-led West over its nuclear program helped push crude prices to record highs above 147 dollars a barrel on July 11.

Analysts view geopolitical factors as among the main causes of recent hike in prices, saying that fears of a new Middle East conflict are behind the new high for oil prices.

Market analysts, specially those from consumer nations, take Bush administration responsible for the price hikes in recent months, saying that it is the “rumors of US and Israeli action against Iran circulating in the markets” that affected oil and the dollar.

But prices dropped by around 20 dollars since then.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for September delivery soared as high as 127.94 on Friday before settling at 124.18 dollars.


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