Iran predicts surge in oil prices

TEHRAN, May 15 (UPI) -- Increased energy demand in China and India should drive oil prices higher as OPEC is expected to call for further production cooperation, Iran said.

Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said OPEC at its May 28 meeting may call for stricter cooperation measures from non-OPEC members. He also predicted oil prices would spike amid rising demand in Asia, Iran's Press TV reports.


"There are changes in oil demand in China and India, which are likely to take the oil price back to its previous position," he said, without offering specifics.

The International Energy Agency, however, predicted in April that global oil demand would fall by more than 2 million barrels per day this year.

Iran frequently makes price predictions ahead of regularly scheduled meetings of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC held extraordinary meetings last year to establish quotas with the goal of bringing oil prices into profitable territory. Crude oil prices reached $147 per barrel in July but have settled around $50 for several months.

Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil said Tuesday that enforcement of the current quota should trump any plans for further cuts, adding it would be "very difficult" to push for further cuts at the May 28 meeting.


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