Iranian OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi says the global crude market is oversupplied and is facing no shortage amid political developments in some oil producing countries.
In an interview with Shana news agency on Monday, Khatibi described the international oil market as well-balanced, despite the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
He also stated that prices would continue to increase if the Libyan crisis persists. Khatibi noted the North African county plays an important role in OPEC and the oil market. Any disruption or decline in oil supply from the county could have an impact on the world oil market.
The Iranian oil official also said, "By the beginning of the high travel season gasoline consumption will increase, and considering the shortage of Libyan crude it is natural to expect an oil price hike."
Demand for OPEC oil is estimated to be at 29 million barrels a day. However, some unconfirmed reports suggest that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has increased production to 30 million barrels a day following the current crisis in Libya.
Khatibi reiterated Iran's stance that there is no need for any emergency OPEC meeting. “OPEC will not hold any extraordinary meeting prior to its ordinary meeting on June 8,” he pointed out.
The Iranian official concluded that Japan's earthquake and the ensuing Fukushima nuclear disaster were among the other reasons affecting oil markets.