Releasing strategic reserves will unbalance oil market: Iran

Iran Materials 6 July 2011 11:34 (UTC +04:00)

The recent decision by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to release crude from strategic petroleum reserves would unbalance the oil market, Iran's representative to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Monday.

Prior to making the decision the global oil market was in a stable and balanced situation, IRNA quoted Mohammad-Ali Khatibi as saying.

On June 23, the IEA decided to release 60 million barrels of crude from strategic oil reserves over the next month.

Khatibi also criticized Riyadh's unilateral decision to increase oil output, saying the move would threaten oil price in the global market and add to its imbalance.

Previously, Iran's caretaker oil minister Mohammad Aliabadi said Tehran would strongly confront any possible move by the oil producing countries to affect market prices.

Iran will continue to oppose pressure from consumer nations for an increase in OPEC's output quota, Aliabadi said on June 26.

"In accordance with the supply and demand situation, Iran will oppose raising OPEC's oil production quota ceiling at the next meeting (on December 14)," he told the Mehr news agency.

Aliabadi's remarks came a day after Khatibi accused the U.S. and its European allies of forcing an "artificial" oil price slump on the market.

OPEC's number two exporter after Saudi Arabia, Iran is the current holder of OPEC's rotating presidency.