No Opec action as $100 oil looms

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Iran, which holds the rotating presidency of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), says it sees no need for oil exporters to hold an emergency meeting if crude prices rise to $100 a barrel. Amid mounting fears about the impact on Western economies, Iran's Oil minister, Masoud Mir-Kazemi, said: "The increase toward $100 is not worrisome enough to warrant an emergency meeting. None of the Opec members considers this figure as being unreasonable."

Opec accounts for 40 per cent of global oil supply, and Iran is its second-biggest producer after Saudi Arabia. Last week, Brent crude for February settlement rose by 62 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $98.68 a barrel in London.