First Published: 2013-04-17


Iran considers oil price at $100-120 'logical'


Analysts say OPEC could cut back production if Brent price crosses below $100.


Middle East Online

TEHRAN - Sanctions-hit Iran considers the "logical" price of crude to be around $100 to $120 a barrel, its oil ministry said on Wednesday, ahead of an OPEC meeting next month.

"The logical price for oil is around 100 and 120 dollars a barrel," ministry spokesman Alireza Nikzad told reporters on the sidelines of an oil and gas trade fair in Tehran.

Oil prices were mixed in trade on Wednesday.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, fell 10 cents to $88.66 a barrel but Brent North Sea crude for June was up 11 cents at $100.20. The Brent contract on Tuesday fell below the $100 mark for the first time since July.

The $100 price for Brent is considered ideal by OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, Commerzbank analysts noted, and crossing below it could prompt the oil cartel's members to cut back production to support prices.

OPEC is set to meet in Vienna on May 31.

Iran is OPEC's fourth biggest producer, after Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, according to the group's data. In 2011, it ranked second.

Its output dropped to 2.67 million barrels per day in February, from 2.72 the previous month, OPEC said in April, citing secondary sources.

Tehran's own communications, however, still insist on its position as runner-up, putting oil production at 3.7 mbpd in February, the last month for which figures were available, the OPEC report added.

Iran has been under an oil embargo imposed by the European Union since July 2012, when European purchases of Iranian crude ended and also led to decreasing Tehran's oil exports to its Asian customers from 10 to 30 percent.


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