DUBAI, (Reuters) – Core OPEC oil producers in the Gulf would ignore Iran’s call for Islamic countries to cut supplies to supporters of Israel in response to the Israeli offensive in Gaza, an OPEC source said on Monday.
“There are no plans to do this and I think it is very unlikely,” the source told Reuters.
U.S. crude CLc1 rose to a two-week high over $48 a barrel on Monday on concern that Israel’s assault on the Gaza strip could involve other Middle East countries that produce a third of the world’s crude.
An Iranian military commander on Sunday said Islamic countries could use oil to put pressure on Israel’s European and United States backers.
Iran, which often rails against the United States and Israel, is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer and a leading member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
OPEC’s most influential member Saudi Arabia and neighbors Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are regional allies to the United States.
The rise in oil price was due to international political tension rather than any firming of oil market fundamentals, the source said.
Supply continued to outstrip weakening demand, but OPEC needed to see the effect of already-agreed cuts to supply before considering more action, the source said.
OPEC has agreed to reduce supplies by 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from its September production level.
There were no plans for OPEC to hold an extraordinary meeting before the next scheduled gathering in March, the OPEC source said.
A senior Iranian official said on Saturday that OPEC could meet in February. Algeria’s Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil has also said the group could hold a meeting before March.