By C.O Nickle, Editor Emeritus
The Government of IRAN, a "hard line" member of OPEC, has sold in recent days on the spot market a volume in excess of 100,000 barrels of Iranian light crude oil for a new record price, $45.30 per barrel in U.S. dollars.
The deal was announced by Iranian Oil Minister ALI AKBAR MOINFAR. The buyer was not named. The deal was apparently made about the end of October. Previously, Iran had set another record, squeezing about $45.00 U.S. per barrel from a Japanese government industry and group which hoped to get some degree of security of supply under its arrangement with the National Iranian Oil Company, rather than take the risks of single cargo purchases on the Rotterdam spot market.
The latest Iranian sale, coupled with the increases of ten to fifteen percent recently in posted prices by about half the OPEC members, and the higher levels being obtained from oil-short buyers on the Rotterdam spot market do not indicate that the coming December meeting of OPEC leaders will bring only a modest upward adjustment in overall average cost of OPEC petroleum in the months to follow.
For consuming nations, in Europe, North America, Japan and elsewhere indications point to another squeeze ahead. That makes effective conservation measures to reduce demand for higher costs OPEC oil absolutely essential. The politicians of the United States and Canada, in particular, need to switch from talking to action in establishing policies to reduce consumption and increase supply from non-OPEC energy sources.