TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Major crude oil producer Iran said Friday that increased oil output would not affect skyrocketing prices after a statement by Saudi Arabia revealed that the kingdom would pump more crude to market.
"Increases oil production does not have such an impact that it would decrease prices because enough oil exists in the global market," Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.
"Just compare 300,000 (barrels per day) with about 86 million (bpd), which are the market's need! What would be the effect?" Nozari asked rhetorically.
A statement posted Thursday on the Web site of the Saudi embassy in London said the kingdom would boost its daily oil output by 200,000 barrels. The statement was later withdrawn.
Oil prices eased Thursday following the statement by Saudi Arabia, the oil kingpin of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
But on Friday the benchmark oil futures contract, New York's light sweet crude for July delivery, rose 77 cents to $132.70 a barrel.
In London Friday , London's Brent North Sea crude for August climbed $1.20 to $133.20.Iran is OPEC's number two producer, behind the Saudis, and has consistently argued that the high oil price has nothing to do with market fundamentals and OPEC's output should not be increased.