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Money News

Iran sees oil price at $150 per barrel by end-summer

TEHRAN (Reuters) - World crude prices are expected to reach $150 per barrel by the end of summer, Iran’s representative to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was quoted as saying on Sunday.

An man fills up his car in Tehran in this June 27, 2007 file photo. World crude prices are expected to reach $150 per barrel by the end of summer, Iran's representative to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was quoted as saying on Sunday. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

“I forecast that by the end of summer the price of oil will reach $150 per barrel,” Mohammad Ali Khatibi was quoted as saying by Iran’s state broadcaster, referring to the summer in the northern hemisphere.

As reasons for this, he cited a weak U.S. dollar as well as the situation in the Middle East, without elaborating.

Iran, which is embroiled in a deepening standoff with the West over its disputed nuclear programme, is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer.

Israel’s deputy prime minister said in remarks published last week that an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites looked “unavoidable”. A senior Israeli defence official said on Sunday the remarks did not reflect Israeli policy.

The dispute between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions has long supported oil prices amid concern that any escalation could disrupt supplies.

In his comments on Sunday, Khatibi added he did not see Friday’s oil price surge of nearly nine percent as stable.

“The $10 increase in one day is not stable ... we should wait until tomorrow when crude markets open to see whether crude prices will remain the same or not,” he said.

U.S. oil surged nearly 9 percent to a record above $139 a barrel on Friday.

Consuming countries have called for more supply from OPEC to help ease high prices, but OPEC officials blame factors beyond their control for oil’s rally.

OPEC, supplier of more than a third of the world’s oil, is next scheduled to meet on Sept. 9 to discuss oil policy.

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