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Iraqi Oil Minister Sees No Output Change from OPEC

Iraq's oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani said on Thursday there was no sign of any shortage of oil in international markets and he did not expect OPEC to change its output levels at a meeting this week.

"Quite frankly, the data we are looking at do not show any shortage of oil on the market. The prices are not really affected by any fundamental market forces," Shahristani said ahead of the meeting on Friday of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna.

"We don't think there is a shortage on the world market and that we need to increase production," he said, adding there was no talk among ministers of reducing production either.

"For this time, I don't think there will be a revision of any production," Shahristani said after meeting European External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

Oil prices remain below a record high hit at the start of the year and OPEC ministers have previously suggested a boost in production is not needed.

But the United States, worried that its economy could tip into a recession, wants the 13-member exporter group to raise supplies to help ease high prices.