Oil minister: World is waiting for sanctions to be eased to turn to Iran’s resources

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 6

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend: The whole world is waiting for Iran's sanctions to be eased so that they could benefit from the country's oil and gas resources, the Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.

"Iran is a great supplier in the global markets, so the world can't ignore the country," the IRNA News Agency quoted Zanganeh as saying in a televised interview.

He referred to the 15 ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and said that nowadays gas and energy have become more important.

"Oil will always maintain its important place in the global markets and gas can never replace it," he said.

Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Ali Majedi in October invited all the international oil companies and governments to invest in Iran's oil industry.

"The oil ministry will revise the contracts considering the country's national interests," the IRNA News Agency quoted Majedi as saying.

"A committee has been formed to revise the country's oil contracts in order to make them more attractive to foreign companies," he added.

He stressed that Iran needs to increse its oil production capacity.

In September the Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh ordered oil ministry officials to revise contracts in order to increase the recovery rate of the country's active oil and gas fields.

Iran is in dire need of money and financial resources and can't afford paying the expenses of giant projects in the energy sector, so it needs the money of domestic and foreign private companies to carry out the projects.

Irans oil and oil products exports, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the country's total exports, have faced a falling trend in the past two years. The country's oil exports were around 2.2 million barrels per day in 2011 but the figure has fallen to below one million barrels.

Due to sanctions against the country, Tehran is unable to receive its oil revenues in any currency. Therefore it can just import legal goods from the destination country in exchange for the exported oil.

Iran's gas condensates exports also faced a 26-per cent decrease in the mentioned period, while the country's petrochemical products exports fell by 40 per cent.

Iran's gas condensate, and petrochemical products exports stood at $10 billion and $15 billion, respectively, in 2011.

Several oil and gas projects in Iran has been halted (or their progress is realy slow) due to fiancial problems or lack of technology. The projects' expenses have increased sharply, as well.

For example in the absence of foreign companies, it was estimated that the phases 11 to 24 of the giant South Pars gas field will come on stream at the cost of $40 billion. But some $46 billion have been invested in the project so far while none of the phases are complete yet. According to the former Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi another $30 billion should be invested in the project. Iran's oil projects are suffering from the same problems, as well.

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