Mohammad Baqer Nobakht

Iran VP confident oil prices will average $80

The precipitous drop in oil prices from a mid-summer high of $115 to $60 a barrel today has provoked strong reactions in Iran. After warning of a “plot” to lower oil prices earlier this year, officials in the President Hassan Rouhani administration have reassured the public that prices will recover.

Vice President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, who also oversees Strategic Planning and Supervision, spoke to reporters after meeting with parliamentary officials. Nobakht dismissed reports that Saudi Arabia had set its budget assuming a $60 price for oil and said that some analysts believe the Saudi budget presumes an $80 price. Iran created its budget for the next year around a predicted oil price of $72.

While Saudi Arabia does not publish the oil prices it uses to calculate its budget, according to Reuters, four different analysts have predicted Saudi estimates at $55 to $63. These figures do not necessarily reflect predictions of the actual price of oil.

Nobakht explained that Nigeria, another member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, set its budget at $73. He added, “A number of experts believe that in the following year, oil will average $80.” He said that a Saudi oil adviser has given the same figure.

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