Publishe Date: 11:00 PM - 9/16/2012 | Print

Real oil price should be above $150: Iran minister

Economy - Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says the real price for crude oil should be over USD 150 per barrel, noting the current prices stand “very low.”

The minister told ISNA on Sunday that the oil prices could potentially rise again. “During the winter, the oil prices always climb. This year too, it would be natural to see the oil prices rise.”

Qasemi said one reason behind the hike in oil prices was a 17-percent decline in the output from North Sea due to technical glitches.

 The price of oil has hit a four-month high due to the illegal oil bans against Iran and in the wake of the US Federal Reserve’s announcement of new economic stimulus plan and the ensuing demand for oil. It is as well due to the spread of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Brent crude prices have hit USD 118 per barrel while Iran’s crude sells at USD 113 per barrel.

Last Wednesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the demand for Iranian crude has increased despite sanctions imposed against the country’s oil exports by the European Union (EU) and US.

The IEA reported that imports of Iranian oil increased from an estimated 930,000 barrels a day in July to 1.1 million barrels per day in August.

At the beginning of 2012, the US and the EU approved new sanctions against Iran's oil and financial sectors. The embargoes aim to prevent other countries from purchasing the Iranian oil or transacting with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

Washington and the EU have declared that the bans are meant to force Iran to abandon its nuclear energy program, which they claim to include a military component.

Iran has vehemently refuted the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to use the nuclear technology for peaceful objectives.

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