Iran predicts rise in foreign exchange earnings

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says the Islamic Republic’s foreign exchange earnings will increase by about five billion dollars by starting gas exports to Iraq.

“By exporting the gas of two phases of the South Pars [gas] field to Iraq, which will be kicked off at most in the next two months, around five billion dollars…will be added to the country’s foreign exchange earnings,” Qasemi said at a conference in Tehran on Sunday, IRNA reported.

The Islamic Republic, which sits on the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia, has been trying to enhance its gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investment, especially in its South Pars Gas Field.

It is part of a joint gas field shared with Qatar, covering an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf and known as the South Pars Gas Field. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, the North Dome Gas Field, is situated in Qatar’s territorial waters.

Iran has 137.6 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and 29.61 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves. It has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves.

“Despite the sanctions in [Iranian calendar] year 91 (ended on March 20, 2013), we have drawn in more than 24 billion dollars of investment in the upstream sector of the oil industry,” the Iranian oil minister stated.

Qasemi added that the US-engineered sanctions have strengthened Iranian contractors, who are now able to conduct megaprojects.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran refutes the allegation and argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

By Press TV


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