Oil price over $100 'not unrealistic', says Iran | business | Hindustan Times
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Oil price over $100 'not unrealistic', says Iran

business Updated: Jan 16, 2011 14:22 IST
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Oil prices crossing the 100 dollars a barrel mark is possible but would not merit an emergency meeting of OPEC, Iran's oil minister Masoud Mirkazemi who currently heads the cartel said on Sunday.

"The price of 100 dollars is not unrealistic in this situation," Mirkazemi told reporters.

"Even if the oil price crosses 100 dollars a barrel there is no need for an emergency OPEC meeting. Some OPEC members believe there is no need for an emergency meeting even if oil reaches 110 or 120 dollars a barrel."

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, a barrel of light sweet crude for delivery in February closed at 91.54 dollars on Friday.

The rise in global oil prices has been attributed to a harsh winter hitting Europe and parts of North America, as well as growth in China and other developing nations.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has said speculation was also fuelling the price rise.

At its last meeting at Quito, the 12-nation cartel decided to leave production quotas unchanged, stressing the looming risks to the fragile global economic recovery.

Some OPEC members -- Iran, Venezuela and Libya -- were urging higher prices at Quito to above 100 dollars a barrel to offset what they said were rising production costs.

But OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia differed, saying between 70 and 80 dollars a barrel was a "fair price."

Iran took over the cartel's rotating presidency from January 1, the first time in 36 years that Tehran holds the leadership of the cartel which accounts for 40 percent of world output.