Oil prices up to $60pb only after 2020—Iran

TEHRAN, Dec. 30 (Shana) — A senior Iranian oil market expert says the price of oil will gradually rise in 2016 but will not cross $60 per barrel before 2020.

Mehdi Assali, director for OPEC affairs at Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum, told a televised interview Tuesday night that the oil price slump will bring investors to the Middle East given low cost of production in the region.

“The production cost in Iran is less than 10 dollars for every barrel of oil,” he said.

He estimated that Iran’s economy will see a 4.5% to 5% growth during the next Iranian calendar year which begins on March 21, even if the prices do not rise above $30 per barrel as the country will double its crude oil exports in 2016 and the prices will gradually grow during the year.

“The prices will fluctuate between $35 and $50 next years and there will be no worries regarding Iran’s oil income,” he said.

Assali also predicted that the global demand for crude oil will exceed 94 million barrels per day in 2016.

Asked whether members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) can take measures to prevent further falling of prices,” he said:

“OPEC members must reach a consensus in this regard because, economically speaking, every one of them knows that the downward trend in the prices does not benefit any of them, and it seems this is no more an economic issue, and needs a political determination [by the members].”

He further said the OPEC policy of producing as much oil as needed for squeezing unconventional producers out of the market has proved unsuccessful as production from American suppliers has not diminished and has even grown in several instances due to different reasons.