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Sunday, February 28, 2010     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Iran: Falling price of oil 'like an alarm bell ringing'

Iran has for the first time warned that the sharp drop in crude oil prices would hurt its economy.   

Officials said the sharp drop in oil prices could force a revision of Iran's budget and economic policies, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Iran had based its budget on the price of oil staying above $80 per barrel.

"Falling oil prices have a considerable risk, and these days the falling price of this strategic product is like an alarm bell ringing," Iranian Deputy Central Bank Gov. Hossein Ghazavi said.

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Officials said Iran, the fourth largest oil producer, has been demanding an immediate and sharp drop in production by OPEC. They said Iran has recruited such countries as Libya and Venezuela to support the cut, opposed by Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the cartel.

Meanwhile, A U.S. energy major has discovered crude oil in Libya.

Hess Corp. reported the discovery of oil off the coast of Libya's Sirte Basin. The company said hydrocarbons were found in Area 54, 60 kilometers within the Gulf of Sirte.

Executives did not detail the extent of the discovery at the well, drilled to a depth of more than 11,000 feet. The Gulf of Sirte has not yet yielded significant quantitites of oil or natural gas.

Hess maintains interests in Egypt and other countries in Africa.

Hess maintains interests in Egypt and other countries in Africa.

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