TEHRAN (AFP)- Iran’s oil minister said Saturday that OPEC’s number two exporter has not ruled out an increase in output in the face of soaring prices.
“We are studying it and will give our opinion,” Gholam Hossein Nozari told reporters at his weekly press briefing when questioned whether Iran would consider increasing its crude output.
“We believe there is enough oil in the market but if statistics and data show there is a need to produce more we are capable of meeting the demand,” he said.
He added that any hike in oil output “should be in final agreement with other members” of the 13-member cartel
A rare summit of leaders of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last week decided not to increase output despite pressure from developed countries, and instead urged world peace to help stabilize prices.
Although some OPEC ministers expressed concern that expensive crude would eventually dampen demand for oil, they indicated that blame for the near triple-figure price lay outside the cartel.
OPEC, which pumps 40 percent of global crude supplies, last decided to raise output in September when the oil producers’s cartel agreed to provide an extra 500,000 barrels a day to the market, effective from November 1.
OPEC’s oil ministers will meet next month in Abu Dhabi to discuss output policy, with any breach of the 100-dollar level in between times likely to heap pressure on the group to act.