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Sun 7 Oct 2007 09:40 AM

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Opec may renege on output rise

Oil cartel may revise decision to boost output if prices drop lower than economical for producers, Iran says.

Iran's oil minister said on Saturday Opec could revise a decision to boost crude production from November if that increase pushed prices lower than was economical for producers, an Iranian news agency reported.

In a bid to cool oil prices that have hit record levels in recent weeks, Opec agreed to hike output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from November 1.

Crude prices eased back on Friday but are still trading around $80 a barrel and remain within sight of the record of $83.90 a barrel hit in September.

Commenting on the decision to hike output in November, Iranian caretaker Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said in remarks carried by ISNA news agency: "If the amount of oil in the market pushed the [oil] price down, and it reached a level that was not economical for the producer, Opec will take a new decision."

The minister for Opec's second biggest producer did not indicate what he considered would be an economical level for producers.

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