Iranian OPEC representative predicts oil prices to recover to $100 per barrel in the second half of the year

BENGALORE, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Global oil prices could recover to around $100 a barrel in the second half of this year as Chinese demand recovers and supply remains tight, Iran’s OPEC spokesman Afshin Javan said on Wednesday.

His comments came after the International Energy Agency noted a recovery in demand in China earlier in the week.

“I think OPEC is moving in the right direction,” Javan told reporters on the sidelines of India Energy Week, referring to the group’s decision to cut production in December.

OPEC+, an alliance that includes members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others, including Russia, last year agreed to cut its production by 2 million barrels per day, about 2% of global demand, from November to the end of 2023 to support the market.

“Why OPEC did this is because they were not very optimistic about demand,” Javan said.

He added that China would need more oil once it was discovered and would cut supplies again.

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Iran is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), although its oil exports are subject to US sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.

On Monday, OPEC Secretary General Haytham al-Ghais also defended the group’s decision to cut production, adding that the move helped stabilize global oil markets.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Florence Tan’s letter; montage by Krishna N. Das and Jason Neely

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