World Bulletin / News Desk
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi urged OPEC's secretary general to call for an extraordinary meeting amid falling oil prices, Iranian Oil Ministry's website SHANA said on Saturday.
"In 161st meeting of OPEC it was agreed if oil prices fall below $100 per barrel it means that prices are in crisis, so we have urged secretary general of OPEC...to make preparations for holding an emergency meeting," Qasemi told SHANA.
International crude benchmarks Brent and U.S. oil futures posted their biggest quarterly declines on Friday since the fourth quarter of 2008 due to weak demand, ample supply and economic worries.
However prices rebounded later on Friday on a deal by European leaders to shore up euro zone banks. Brent crude oil futures rose more than $6 a barrel to near $98 while U.S. crude jumped by more than $7 to settle just below $85 a barrel.
Qasemi warned that if OPEC members failed to comply with the agreed production ceiling of 30 million bpd this would disrupt balance in the oil market.
"If OPEC members don't observe agreed production ceiling it will be followed by disorder in oil markets," he said.
Qasemi's view echoed comments from fellow OPEC price hawks Iraq and Venezuela last week.
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said on Friday that OPEC needed to cut its supply, while Venezuela's Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez also called for an extraordinary meeting in the third quarter of this year if global crude prices remain low.
In its last meeting in mid-June, OPEC agreed to adhere to the collective limit, implying a 1.6 million bpd cut from the actual supply for 12 members of 31.5 million. To do that, Saudi Arabia would need to cut back sharply.
But Saudi Arabia is showing no sign yet of changing its policy of pumping near its highest rate in decades to support global economic growth, despite a fall in crude prices below $90 a barrel for the first time in 18 months.
However, regional markets struggled as profit-takers moved in after a healthy week and traders were spooked by reports the man probing Donald Trump's links to Russia will also investigate his business dealings.
In initial deals in the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 slipped 0.2 percent to 12,424.80 points and the CAC 40 in Paris also slipped 0.2 percent to 5,188.92 points compared with the closing levels on Thursday.
The greenback had soared along with global markets for months after Trump's November election victory on hopes his big-spending, tax-cutting policies would fire up the world's top economy and fan inflation.
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