TEHRAN (FNA)- Crude oil prices are still low and could rise further, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi said.
"In our view, the price of oil is still low and has the potential to rise further," Qassemi told reporters.
Asked to comment on soaring oil prices in the world markets and the United States' likely release of stocks from its strategic oil reserves to try to temper the surge in prices, he said it was normal for oil prices to rise going into winter in the northern hemisphere.
US administration officials met energy analysts at the end of last week in a meeting interpreted by some as a sign that President Barack Obama is considering tapping US government oil supplies in a bid to bring down fuel prices.
Qassemi also added that lower oil output from North Sea oil fields in Europe could push up prices.
Asked if Iran is content with prices, the official said the country sells its oil to the world markets in good prices, adding that the private sector is responsible for part of oil exports.
On selling oil to Egypt, Qassemi said, "Necessary negotiations are underway between the two sides."
He further responded to a question on the exact volume of Iran's total reserves, and mentioned, "In place oil reserves of the county stand at 600 billion barrels, of which 154 billion barrels could be recovered by using existing recovering techniques."
He said there is the possibility to enhance oil recovery by employing new techniques.