“There is certainly enough oil,” Shahristani tells MEED on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

“The problem we have is with these speculative traders. They push it [the price] up, so what can we do?”

West Texas Intermediate crude hit a new record of $127.40 on the New York Mercantile Exchange in early trading on 19 May, a 1 per cent gain on the previous high of $126.29 on 16 May and the highest level since the start of futures trading in 1983.

Shahristani confirms that Iraq has added 500,000 barrels-a-day (b/d) to its own production in the last six months, although he declined to give an overall supply figure.

On 16 May, Saudi Arabia revealed it had lifted its supply by 300,000 b/d, a 3.3 per cent increase, to 9.45 million b/d, although the move has done little to lower prices.