Iran General NewsIran hints at emergency meeting as oil falls

Iran hints at emergency meeting as oil falls

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ImageThe Times: Oil prices slipped to a 21-month low yesterday, prompting fresh calls from members of the Opec producers' cartel to cut supplies again to prevent further falls.

The Times

The price of crude oil reached a 21-month low, prompting calls from some Opec members for a further reduction in supply

Robin Pagnamenta

ImageOil prices slipped to a 21-month low yesterday, prompting fresh calls from members of the Opec producers' cartel to cut supplies again to prevent further falls.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil traded on London's Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) for delivery in December plunged $4.16 to $54.92 per barrel – a level not seen since January 30, 2007.

Despite long-term concerns about constraints in oil supply, prices have weakened sharply in recent weeks amid expectations that a broadening economic slowdown will undermine global demand for energy, especially in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, and in Europe.

Gholamhossein Nozari, the Iranian Oil Minister, said yesterday that Opec was considering another emergency meeting to trim production after a decision last month to cut supplies by 1.5million barrels per day failed to force prices higher.

During a visit to Kuwait, Mr Nozari said: “The decision by Opec was able to prevent a large decline in prices, but as for the stability of prices this needs a more far-reaching decision and further measures.”

He said that Opec could hold another meeting before its planned gathering in mid-December in Oran, Algeria. “We are going to review oil market conditions and, if there was a need, there might be an emergency meeting.”

The 13 member countries of Opec, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Venezuela, together produce around 40 per cent of the world's oil. Since touching a record high of $147 on July 11, crude prices have tumbled by 62 per cent.

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