Rouhani: Cheap Oil Will Not Last Long

Rouhani: Cheap Oil Will Not Last LongRouhani: Cheap Oil Will Not Last Long

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday oil prices would not stay low for long, as producers restore market balance.

"The price of oil is at a low level ... I don't think it will last in the long term ... The pressure on oil-producing nations means balance will be restored in the short term," Rouhani, whose country is the third-largest producer in OPEC, said at the French Institute of International Relations, WorldOil reported.

Reiterating Iran's official stance of boosting oil exports now that international sanctions against it have been lifted, Rouhani blamed Saudi Arabia, OPEC's top exporter, for the drop in oil prices, which have halved since last May as global supply outstrips demand.

Oil futures surged on Wednesday after non-OPEC member Russia indicated there was a possibility of cooperation with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to curb output and thus raise crude price, currently near $33 a barrel.

Nikolai Tokarev, head of Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, said on Wednesday Russian officials had decided they should talk to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries about output cuts aimed at bolstering crude prices.

But Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Tehran had not been contacted by Moscow over oil output cuts.

"I have not received anything," Zanganeh said at a Franco-Iranian summit in Paris.

The Iranian oil minister had dismissed the possibility of an emergency meeting of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ahead of the group's scheduled summit in June, adding that such a summit would hurt the crude oil market if it does not lead to a concrete decision to shore up falling prices.