Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oil: Iran Urges OPEC to Cut Output if Demand Slows

OPEC should trim its oil output if demand continues to fall in slowing industrialized economies, Iran's OPEC governor Muhammad Ali Khatibi said on Tuesday.

OPEC boosted output for the third consecutive month in July as prices peaked at over $147 a barrel. Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia pumped at the fastest rate for 27 years to meet growing demand. But other OPEC members opposed the move, saying that the hike in prices had been the result of other factors than market fundamentals. Iran and other members of the oil cartel blamed high oil prices on geopolitical factors, sanctions, weak dollar and market speculation. The price has since slipped $34 as record prices at the pump and the slowing US economy crimp demand. "If oil demand continues to slow then OPEC should adjust its output accordingly," Khatibi told Reuters in an interview in his Tehran office