Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Iran says OPEC can't do much to cool oil prices

From the Sahara Samay;
Iran, the world's second largest oil exporter, today said it was "not happy" with the spurt in oil prices to a record high of USD 142 a barrel but said the cartel OPEC could not do much to cool the rates.

"Even we as (oil) producers are not happy with the (current) prices," Iran Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said on the sidelines of the 19th World Petroleum Congress here.

Blaming the volatility in global crude prices to the weakening of US dollar against euro, he said the rise in demand in China and India had nothing to do with the spurt in prices.

"We have never said that the rise in demand in China and India is causing rise in prices. We do not subscribe to that," he said.
"I have always insisted that the spectacular rise is due to devaluation of dollar."

Besides, speculators have added to the rise, he said but could not quantify as what amount of the current prices had been a result of pure speculation.

"The market is well supplied," Nozari said.
"To a large extent, the increase in price is due to the weakening of the dollar."

The OPEC's second largest oil exporter did not see prices cooling down in near future. "May be it may rise further (than OPEC President Chakib Khelils prediction at USD 170 a barrel this summer)."

"OPEC can't do much about it (rising prices)," he said. Meanwhile, Khalil addressing the WPC today said OPEC was concerned that future demand for oil might not be strong enough to justify investment to boost oil production.
So now the question redounds to What can America do to curb the weakness of the dollar?