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News number: 8805121097

15:06 | 2009-08-03

Economy

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Iran Predicts Higher Oil Prices by January

TEHRAN (FNA)- Amid recent jump in oil prices due to expectations about recovering global economy, a senior Iranian oil official predicted that the prices will pass $80 a barrel by January.



Oil prices jumped above $70 a barrel Monday in Asia on investors' expectations that a recovering global economy will boost crude demand.

Benchmark crude for September delivery was up 73 cents to $70.18 a barrel by midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. London Brent crude increased 70 cents to $72.40 a barrel on Monday. On Friday, the contract rose $2.51 to settle at $69.45.

Oil prices seesawed last week before surging Thursday and Friday as investors bet that crude demand, which has been tepid this summer, will eventually pick up as the economy improves.

Meantime, Iran's OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi pointed to "optimistic signs in the oil market" and underlined that the news over revival of the global economy would push oil prices to reach $80 a barrel by January.

Khatibi further noted that seasonal demand for oil will increase in the fourth quarter of the year to 29.1 million barrels per day (bpd).

"Oil will be traded $75 per barrel for winter delivery and $80 a barrel in the next year," he said.