Iran says demand for oil to stay unchanged
Iran's OPEC governor said on Saturday there was no need to change the crude output ceiling as demand for oil was not expected to increase by January 2011, SHANA news agency reported.
"Demand for oil will not increase in the current year ... (An) OPEC output increase will cause the price fall," Mohammad-Ali Khatibi told SHANA.
OPEC has left its output ceiling unchanged for more than a year since announcing a record supply curb of 4.2 million barrels per day in December 2008 in response to the global economic downturn.
OPEC's reference crude oil basket price rose further to $72.86 a barrel on Thursday from $71.15 the previous day, OPEC said on Friday.
Khatibi had previously stated that oil prices would not drop below $60 per barrel in 2010.
"Though oil prices are expected to decrease in the first half of the year because of seasonal demands but it would not go under $60 per barrel," he said.
"It is predicted that the crude oil market would gain ground in the second half of 2010," he added.