Iranian caretaker Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said he believed Opec’s current crude oil production was enough and did not expect the group to change output when it meets next month.
Iran’s ISNA news agency reported him as saying that there was a possibility oil prices would rise. “It seems that Opec’s current production is enough and at the next meeting the current ceiling will be kept,” ISNA quoted him as saying.
Opec ministers next meet on September 11 in Vienna.
Oil has slipped from a record high of $78.77 a barrel on August 1, pushed down by financial market turmoil caused by the US mortgage sector problems. But other factors, like gasoline shortages in the United States, are still providing a prop.
Shortage of gasoline
Nozari’s remarks echo those of other Opec ministers and the line taken by his predecessor, Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, who he replaced this month. Analysts had said the change of minister was unlikely to herald a shift in Iran’s policy on Opec issues.
Iranian officials have previously said the oil market does not lack crude supply and have said prices are rising because of issues such as a shortage of gasoline supply in the US, the world’s top crude consumer, and political worries.
Analysts say Iran’s standoff with the West over its nuclear programme has been one of the props for prices in past months.