Iran says OPEC 1.5 MMb/d hike would be cooperative

A top Iranian oil official says an OPEC output ceiling increase of 1 MMb/d would highlight the producer group's "cooperation and understanding with consumers" but the move would only formalize OPEC's ongoing overproduction, the Iran News reported Sunday.

A top Iranian oil official says an OPEC output ceiling increase of 1 MMb/d would highlight the producer group's "cooperation and understanding with consumers" but the move would only formalize OPEC's ongoing overproduction, the Iran News reported Sunday.

Iran is leading discussions with OPEC members over record-high oil prices, Iran's OPEC governor Hussein Kazempour Ardebili said, adding that he was still concerned about crude oil stockpiling in consumer countries, which could push prices down after the summer.

"Whatever agreement is reached on raising the OPEC production ceiling or quotas would in practice be a formalization of the presently available surplus in the market," he said, noting that the producer group is already producing more than 1.5 MMb/d over its agreed ceiling.

Kazempour said Mideast tensions and US refinery bottlenecks, not OPEC, are responsible for scorching oil prices.

05-17-04

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