TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s oil minister suggested on Sunday crude at $100 a barrel was the lowest appropriate level but said factors like the approaching cold season would push up demand and prices, an Oil Ministry website reported.
Oil has fallen from a record level around $147 a barrel in July to around $115 a barrel.
Asked if crude priced at $100 a barrel was appropriate, Gholamhossein Nozari was quoted as saying by the ministry website SHANA: “This is the least price for oil.”
“Regarding the start of the cold season and the increase in consumption, we will move towards an increase in crude prices. These factors can push prices to an acceptable level,” Nozari said.
Iran, the second biggest producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, traditionally takes a hawkish view. Iranian officials have said the market is oversupplied.
Asked if the issue of commitment to OPEC quotas would be discussed when the cartel meets in September, he said: “If this issue will have an impact on prices, it will certainly be among the main topics at the meeting.”
Most commentators predict OPEC will leave output targets unchanged when its meets on September 9 in Vienna.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, said in June it would increase output to try to calm prices.
Asked about Saudi Arabia’s move to hike output, he said: “The extra supply of crude to the market has had an impact on prices. It is not only Saudi Arabia that has an increase in supply, but a rise of supply by some other members can also have an impact.”
Iran has also reported a very modest increase in output. The minister said this month Iran’s output hit 4.235 million barrels per day (bpd), 5,000 bpd higher than the previous record in June. Iranian production last year was about 4.1 million bpd.