( Reuters ) - Iran Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said on Monday there is no shortage of crude oil in the market and OPEC has no plans to increase supplies.
Commercial oil stocks are at a high level and current strong prices around $69 a barrel are not due to inventory levels, he told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia Oil and Gas Conference in the Malaysian capital.
"Now there is no shortage of crude oil in the market," he said when asked if OPEC should release more supplies to the market to temper rising oil prices.
Asked if oil prices would hit $80 a barrel, he said: "We cannot predict what will happen to prices now."
He said that commercial oil stocks in the United States are at a very high and comfortable level, and "the reason for the price hike is not because of crude supply problems."
Vaziri-Hamaneh also said that Iran is in discussions to store strategic crude in China, while it is in talks to build refineries in Singapore, Syria, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
He added that Iran is not concerned over the financing of mega oil projects in the country amid concerns over western economic sanctions over Tehran's nuclear plan.