OPEC 'powerless', says Iran oil minister

Oil market over-supplied with crude, cartel cannot reduce prices, says Gholamhossein Nozari.
OPEC 'powerless', says Iran oil minister
By Parisa Hafezi
Tue 01 Jul 2008 11:50 AM

Iran's oil minister said the market was over-supplied with crude and OPEC could not do anything to reduce prices, the website of the country's Oil Ministry reported on Tuesday.

"There is enough oil in the market. The market is over-supplied.... the price rise is not because of a shortage of supply," it quoted Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Madrid.

"OPEC as a major oil producer cartel can't do anything to decrease prices," Nozari said.

OPEC member Iran has often said it sees no need for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to boost output, as the United States and other big oil consumers want, even though oil prices have increased 40 percent this year.

Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, has repeatedly said the market is well-supplied and blames rising prices on speculation, a weak dollar and geopolitical tension.

Nozari said Iran wanted oil market stability. "Fluctuation of prices harms [both] producer and consumers," he was quoted as saying. (Reuters)

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