Iran Oil Min: Oil Mkt Saturated, OPEC Meeting Demand

TEHRAN (Dow Jones Newswires), June 12, 2008

Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said Thursday that the world market was saturated and that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was meeting demand, official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

"There is enough oil in the market; there is no problem with oil supply and there is enough capability to supply as much oil as the global market has the capacity to receive," IRNA quoted Nozari as saying.

"But at the moment, the market is saturated."

At 1545 GMT, the front-month July light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile exchange was down $2.92 at $133.46 a barrel after hitting a record high of $139.12 a barrel last Friday.

OPEC supplies oil based on the needs of the market, added Nozari, whose country is OPEC's second biggest producer.

Nozari's comment came amid skyrocketing oil prices that have raised concerns among consumers.

OPEC maintains that the oil market is well supplied and that current prices do not reflect the fundamentals of supply and demand.

Saudi Arabia, a close Western ally, has come under huge U.S. pressure to boost output to help end volatility.

The oil kingpin has proposed a June 22 meeting in Saudi Arabia for the world's biggest oil producers and consumers to discuss record-high crude prices at head-of-state level.

Iran Tuesday gave a cautious welcome to the Saudi meeting saying it could be useful as long as the meeting examined the root causes of high prices.

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