Reuters: OPEC sees no shortage of crude oil in the market, a senior Iranian oil official said in remarks published on Saturday, adding that prices had surged on the back of political issues and a lack of refining capacity.
TEHRAN (Reuters) – OPEC sees no shortage of crude oil in the market, a senior Iranian oil official said in remarks published on Saturday, adding that prices had surged on the back of political issues and a lack of refining capacity.
Javad Yarjani, head of OPEC affairs at Iran’s Oil Ministry, made his comments to Iran’s Sharq newspaper. They are in line with remarks made before by Iran and other OPEC states even as the price of a barrel of crude has climbed near record levels.
He also said there would be no extraordinary OPEC meeting before the regular session on Sept. 11. Other OPEC officials have also ruled out a need to meet before then.
A barrel of benchmark Brent climbed above $76 on Friday, closing in on the record of $78.65 hit in August 2006.
“OPEC officials, including the Iranian oil minister, have repeated a number of times that there is no shortage of crude oil supply in the market. What causes instability in oil markets is political issues … and a shortage of refinery products and capacity,” Yarjani was quoted as saying.
He did not specify particular political issues but Iran’s row with the West over its nuclear plans, which Western nations believe are aimed at making atomic bombs, is one factor that has supported oil prices. Tehran says it atomic goals are peaceful.
Asked if OPEC would hike output if prices crossed the record high even if the reason was not a lack of supply, Yarjani said: “OPEC is only responsible for harmonising oil supply and demand. If the reasons for the increase in oil prices are other things, others should answer for it.”
He said raising production if supply was adequate would only boost crude in stores.