Iran ready to back OPEC deal extension

TEHRAN, Apr. 30 (MNA) – Oil Minister Zanganeh said if majority of OPEC and non-OPEC states agree to extend the oil freeze deal, Iran will go with other members similar to the past.

Following a meeting with European Commissioner for Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, Iran’s Bijan Zanganeh said positive signals have been received for extending the six-month oil freeze deal in the second half of 2017 and Iran will accompany other members of OPEC in they support the extension.

“Present volume of Iran’s crude output stands at 3.8 million barrels according to secondary sources,” highlighted the official stressing that Iran remained committed to OPEC deal within the envisaged time though boosting the country’s oil production has been placed on the agenda.

In response to a question on time schedule of the first tender for signing new oil deals with international firms and likelihood of cooperation with Total in addition to Asian and Russian companies, Iran’s petroleum minister said serious talks were underway with several oil giants like Total, Maersk, Lukoil, Pertamina, OMV as well as Wintershall Holding GmbH.

He went on to note that, in the first phase, MoUs were signed with international firms over Master Development Plan (MDP) for oil and gas fields while monetary and contract issues are presently being discussed.

He anticipated that the first project will pertain to Phase 11 of South Part joint gas field. On barriers to investment in Iran faced by European firms, Zanganeh said the issue depends on will of these firms and the European Union since they could enter the Iranian industry with the support from EU even at a time when US restrictions were place.

The senior oil official expressed hope that EU will support partnership of European companies in Iran’s oil and gas industry with the largest reservoir of oil and gas which can guarantee secure supply of energy not only to Europe but also to the world.

Iranian oil minister further recalled that South Pars phases were developed during sanction years indicating that no power can hinder development of Iranian oil and gas industry.

Zanganeh believed that obstacles were more of a political nature than monetary or financial since oil giants active in America are under pressure by the US government.

“All in all, foreign companies have the final say as well as the right to decide on exploiting the precious opportunity of cooperation with the Iranian industry; otherwise, Iran will join hands with other firms,” he continued.

He touched upon negotiations with the EU in energy sector saying “the Union is holding talks with several Iranian ministries and we support expansion of ties in areas of energy efficiency in industry, renewable energy, environmental issues and preventing burning of flare gases.”

The official reiterated that talks with EU will be pursued until venues for deepening relations are found emphasizing that Iran welcomes presence of both large and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Petroleum Minister Zanganeh said Iran possessed a huge volume of gas as 300 million cubic meters of gas were added to the overall production volume through 11 new South Pars phases.

“Iran’s priority is to export gas to neighboring firms through pipeline though LNG remains as the best method for shipment of the product to Europe due to difficulties in pipeline construction to another continent,” said Zanganeh asserting that another issue pertained to price to differences between price of LNG in Europe and East Asia.


News Code 125101


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