Crude oil should be at least $150 per barrel, Iran's oil minister was quoted as saying on Sunday, and the sanctions-hit country's OPEC governor said current oil prices were not high enough to threaten the world economy. Benchmark Brent crude prices rose to nearly $118 a barrel on Friday, stoking fears that surging energy costs could harm fragile economic growth. Days earlier, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he was worried by high prices and the kingdom would take steps to moderate them.
Iranian oil officials say oil prices are still fairly low and deny there is any danger of current prices hampering growth. Iranian oil minister Rostam Qasemi said on Sunday crude oil ought to be at least $150 per barrel, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported. "During the winter, oil prices always climb," Qasemi said. "So it's natural that this year as well we will have a rise in oil prices in the winter."