Iran may Urge OPEC to Cut Supply to Defend $100 Oil

A00886382.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran, OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, may urge the crude exporting group to restrain output when it meets Sept. 9 to ensure the market doesn’t become over supplied and push prices below $100.

“Iran hopes that OPEC will defend the balance of the market,” Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran’s OPEC governor, told Bloomberg in an interview in Tehran today. “When oil prices are attractive investment takes place, and if prices are on a decreasing course investors will be hesitant,” he said.

Crude oil, down 22 percent since it touched a record July 11, closed on Friday at $115.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which will meet early next month to review production targets, have maintained an official output limit of 29.67 million barrels a day this year.

OPEC’s daily shipments of oil will fall 1.5 percent in the four weeks to Sept. 13, according to industry consultant Oil Movements as refiners trim imports while undertaking seasonal maintenance.

The 13-member group will load 24.2 million barrels a day in the period, compared with 24.58 million barrels a day shipped in the four weeks ended Aug. 16, the Halifax, England- based consultant said Aug. 28 in a report.

Iran’s Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said $100 a barrel is the “minimum” suitable level for crude, the Oil Ministry’s official news agency Shana reported on Sunday. The Iranian official said he expected crude prices to rise because of the expected increase in demand for fuel oil during the Northern Hemisphere winter.

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