Iran rejects OPEC output hike

July 30, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN (AFP) -- Iran said on Sunday it was firmly opposed to a hike in OPEC’s crude oil output, amid market speculation the cartel could raise production to stem surging prices, state television reported on its website.

Oil Minister Seyyed Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said current surging oil prices were due to political concerns and a shortage of petrol in the United States during the summer holiday season, and not related to OPEC quotas. “The recent fluctuation in the oil markets emanates from political and geopolitical reasons,” said Vaziri-Hamaneh, whose country is OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia. “In the current circumstances, an increase in oil production will not have any effect on oil prices. “Therefore there is no reason for an OPEC production increase,” he said, describing global production and storage of crude as “high”. Vaziri-Hamaneh’s comments came a week after the United Arab Emirates energy minister and current OPEC president, Mohammed al-Hamli, expressed concern over surging prices, building expectations of a possible OPEC output hike. OPEC is due to have its next regular meeting on September 11 at its headquarters in Vienna. At its last meeting in March, OPEC decided to hold its official production quota at 25.8 million barrels of oil per day. “If, by the upcoming OPEC meeting in September, the current trend of storage and world oil consumption continues, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not agree with a rise in the OPEC crude oil production,” Vaziri-Hamaneh said. “I do not think the issue of change in the production will be discussed,” he added