BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's oil minister says crude oil prices are not "profitable and fair" for oil producing countries and should be increased.
Hussain al-Shahristani says members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are working to control prices to "inch them up." He spoke Monday to the private Sharqiyah television station.
Al-Shahristani says Iraq will have to review its budget in mid-2009 if oil prices continue to stay below $50 per barrel.
Iraq's parliament passed a $58.6 billion budget last week. The original spending plan was $79 billion but had to be reduced as oil prices plunged from a mid-July high of $150 to about $46.
OPEC plans to meet March 15 in Vienna, and some of its leaders have said a production cut is likely.