Iran: no demand for OPEC extraordinary meet
TEHRAN - Iran, current chair of OPEC, said Friday there is no demand for an extraordinary meeting of the oil cartel and that the recent increases in the price of crude were "not illogical."
"There is no special meeting scheduled. The (oil) reserves are high ... no member country has called for an extraordinary meeting," Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi told journalists at an international exhibition of oil, gas and petrochemicals.
"As OPEC head we have not received such a thing."
Mirkazemi said there was "enough" oil supply in the market.
"Today, it is the market which is deciding the price. When the barrel of oil was 35 dollars, nobody objected. Now it is 120 dollars, there are objections," the minister said.
"The (price) trend is not out of order. It is the market which decides the price. If you take into account the past 40 years... then the price you get per barrel is not illogical."
Iran is the second largest exporter of crude in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which it currently chairs.
Oil prices rose in early trade Friday in Asia as a weaker dollar spurred buying interest, dealers said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, rose 15 cents to $108.26 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for May delivery gained 20 cents to $122.20 in the afternoon.
OPEC raised Tuesday its growth forecast for world oil demand in 2011, expecting little import from recent events in Japan and Libya.
World oil demand will now grow by 1.39 million barrels per day (bpd), or 1.61 percent, to 87.94 million bpd, the cartel said in its latest monthly report.
For 2010, demand was put at 86.55 million barrels per day -- up 2.0 million bpd -- OPEC said, revising its estimate upwards slightly on the back of higher-than-expected winter consumption.
Meanwhile, an 80-percent cut in production in Libya due to the ongoing conflict -- to just 250,000-300,000 bpd from a previous 1.6 million bpd -- was being compensated for by other OPEC producers, it added.