Iranian Minister: Oil price potentially over $150

Iranian Minister: Oil price potentially over $150

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sep.16/ Trend F.Milad/

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has said that the real price for oil should be over $150 per barrel. "In our view, the price of oil is still low and has the potential to rise further," Qasemi was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

Qasemi said lower oil output from North Sea oil fields in Europe could push up prices. Brent crude oil prices have surged about 20 percent since OPEC last met in June, hovering between $112-$117 a barrel since mid-August, Reuters reported.

On September 3, Qasemi warned that the ongoing embargo on the Islamic Republic's oil exports will drive up global oil prices in international markets.

"If [the oil] producing countries are confronted with difficulties and restrictions, the market will react to the situation accordingly, which will cause an increase in prices," Press TV quoted Qasemi as saying.

Qasemi further said Iran is to tap the National Development Fund, formerly known as Oil Stabilization Fund, to finance oil and gas projects.

"[During] this [Iranian calendar] year [March 2012-March 2013] we are planning to use $14 billion for the development of the oil and gas industry from the fund alone," he said, adding that Iran also enjoys other reserves in foreign currencies both at home and abroad.

"So there will be no particular difficulties this year with financing the country's oil and gas industry [projects]," noted the minister.

In July, Qasemi said that although the West has imposed sanctions on Iran's oil sector with the goal of toppling the Islamic establishment, the country's oil exports will never be halted because oil consuming countries need Iranian crude.
"There are many ways to easily sell oil, one of which is to take advantage of businessmen and the private sector," Qasemi added.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

On June 9, Iran called fellow OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates oil quota violators and accused them of depressing global crude prices by over-pumping.

"It is not right that two or three countries compensate for a country that is being sanctioned. OPEC members should not work against each other," Iran's OPEC governor, Mohammad-Ali Khatibi was quoted as saying at the time.

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