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OPEC: threat against Iran, weak dollar behind oil price hike
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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) President Chakib Khelil said on Tuesday threat against Iran and a weakening US dollar were the major forces behind oil price hike.

At a press conference on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Madrid, Khelil insisted that high oil prices were not caused by a lack of supplies, rebuffing the claim by some oil consuming countries.

Instead, the OPEC chief attributed the price hike to the devaluation of the US dollar and accompanying market speculation, the geopolitical situation including the tension between Iran and the West, and the impact of bioethanol which had lowered diesel production.

"We will not see lower oil prices without finding solution to possible war threats in certain oil producing areas," Khelil said.

There was "a need to do something about geopolitics and the dollar," he added.

Khelil warned if Iran get attacked, the oil price could rise even further since the oil-rich country's disrupted production may not be compensated.

"It is obvious that if you curtail 4 million barrels per day from the market, you are going to have a big problem," he said, "Ido not see who can replace that, including OPEC."

(Xinhua News Agency July 2, 2008)

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