NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said on Friday global crude oil prices could touch $100 a barrel on geopolitical tension and soaring winter demand.
“There is still a possibility of crude reaching $100 a barrel due to geopolitical problems worldwide and peaking of winter demand,” the minister, in the Indian capital for two days of talks on a proposed $7 billion gas pipeline, said.
He did not see the possibility of Iran withdrawing crude supplies from global markets in the event of U.S. military action against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.
Concerns over Iran persisted as its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, insisted on the country’s right to produce nuclear fuel, despite a United Nations resolution demanding that Tehran suspend its nuclear activities by August 31 or face the threat of sanctions.
In the Middle East, the situation remains tense as hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah raged on despite efforts by the international community to agree a ceasefire. Traders fear the conflict could spread to Middle East oil producers.
Israeli warplanes pounded buildings in Beirut, which it said housed Hizbollah offices as both sides threatened to escalate the war. Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened to hit Tel Aviv if Israel struck at central Beirut.
An Iranian official warned oil prices could hit $200 if international sanctions were imposed on his country in its nuclear dispute with the West, though analysts shrugged off the remark as saber rattling.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, believes oil should not be used as a weapon even if the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah escalates, its foreign minister said this week.
Adding to worries over supplies, an Iraqi pipeline carrying crude from the country’s northern oilfields to Turkey’s Ceyhan port was bombed on Monday, pushing back the planned restart of exports along the route.