Iran plays key role in world energy market: Schroeder

TEHRAN, May 6 (MNA) -- Sitting atop great oil and gas reserves, Iran will play a vital role in supplying the world with energy in the future, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says.

Addressing the first German-Middle East energy conference in Berlin on Tuesday, Schroeder said, “Iran has the potential to become a major supplier of energy to Europe,” IRNA reported.

 

Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari also attended the conference.

 

Faced with the worst recession in 60 years, German energy firms have repeatedly vented their anger at Chancellor Angela Merkel for caving in to intense U.S. and Israeli pressure to tighten sanctions on Tehran. These companies are afraid of losing Iran’s lucrative market to competitors from France, Spain, Italy, China, Russia, India, and Malaysia.

 

While German companies are participating in a number of Iranian petrochemical projects, they have no active presence in the country’s oil and gas sector.

 

However, economic relations between Germany and Iran flourished in 2008 despite the imposition of Western sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

 

German exports to Iran surged 10 percent to reach around four billion euros last year.

 

During his two-day trip to Germany, Nozari discussed ways for German companies to become involved in Iran’s gas and oil projects.

 

The Iranian delegation met with some leading German industrialists and representatives of the country’s major investment and energy firms. 

 

Iran open to German investment in energy sector 

 

Iran is open to German investment in its thriving oil and gas sector, Nozari told conference participants. 

 

He went on to say that the overall atmosphere for investment in Iran is favorable.

 

Investing in Iran’s energy sector is a “win-win situation” for both sides, he stated.

 

Pointing to the growing global demand, he predicted that energy prices will rise.

 

Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia and the second biggest oil reserves in OPEC after Saudi Arabia.

 

Responding to the concerns of German companies that China is entering the lucrative Iranian energy market, Nozari made it clear that Iran can not wait any longer.

 

“We are proceeding with the development of our gas and oil fields with the help of Chinese and Russian companies,” the oil minister added.

 

“Iran can play a key role in meeting Europe’s rising energy demands,” Nozari noted. 

 

He also stated that European decision-makers and energy experts will have to redouble their efforts to deal with European countries’ growing demand for energy over the next few years.

 

Nozari also said the Nabucco gas pipeline project would only make economic sense if Iran were involved in it.

 

The Iranian oil minister pointed out that Nabucco was only one of five available options.

 

Commenting on the prospects for cooperation between Germany and Iran in the energy sector, Nozari said both countries had previously signed memorandums of understanding which needed to be implemented now.

 

Nozari added that bilateral energy cooperation could also boost trade ties between the two countries.

 

Germany has stepped up efforts in recent years to diversify its energy sources in order to lessen its dependence on Russian oil and gas.

 

Nozari also gave an update on Iran’s oil projects.

 

MF/HG

END

MNA

News Code 33616

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