TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran’s Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said it would be possible to see a price of $200 per barrel for crude if existing conditions in the market continued, an Iranian news agency reported on Thursday.
“If current conditions continue, reaching a period when oil is supplied at $200 a barrel is not out of reach,” Nozari told the official IRNA news agency.
Nozari said the reasons behind the surge in oil prices, which this week hit a record high above $123 a barrel, were the weak U.S. dollar and supply concerns from Nigeria.
Iran and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, source of two in every five barrels of oil, have blamed factors other than supply and demand for oil’s record high prices.
“In fact, the U.S. dollar has weakened … Another reason is related to problems in Nigeria’s crude production,” Nozari said.
Oil has risen from below $20 in early 2002 and is widely predicted to continue its climb.
OPEC oil supply fell in April to 31.64 million barrels per day, its lowest this year, as a strike cut Nigerian output and top OPEC exporters Saudi Arabia and Iran trimmed production, a Reuters survey showed last week.