TEHRAN, May 27 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices of around $80 per barrel are needed to stimulate investments in the field of oil production, the Iranian oil minister said.
Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said $80 per barrel was a reasonable price to encourage investment for development while producers can generate enough profit to operate their fields economically, the semiofficial Petroenergy Information Network in Iran reports.
His comments come ahead of a Thursday meeting in Vienna of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to review production quotas.
At its March meeting, OPEC officials agreed to leave quotas untouched, instead favoring enforcement mechanisms as oil hovered around $50 per barrel.
As the global recession limps on, however, frozen credit markets and declining demand are creating an environment detrimental to new investments.
Saudi officials, for their part, said oil prices could soar to $150 per barrel if new investment strategies are not realized soon.
Recessionary concerns were expressed by the International Energy Agency, which forecast a 21-percent cut in oil and gas investments.
OPEC, meanwhile, said in its report for May that the current deep recession is one of the worst on record, suppressing many aspects in the energy sector.
"Continuous downward revisions to world economy growth have been exhausting world oil demand," the report said.