Iran’s new Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh — after years of All-Is-Well messages by the Ahmadinejad Government — has implicitly acknowledged the effects of falling production and exports.
Calling for a reversal in the situation, Zanganeh said on Tuesday, “An increase in Iran’s oil production capacity will result in higher bargaining power in the international bodies and the OPEC. Therefore, the oil production capacity must be raised to above four million barrels a day by applying enhanced recovery methods.”
Iran’s oil production was more than 4 million barrels per day at the start of 2012 but, amid US-led sanctions, has fallen to 2.6 million barrels per day, its lowest level since the 1980s.
Zanganeh, who was also Oil Minister under the who started work on Saturday, said “oil diplomacy” could chalelnge sanctions: “Sanctions are not targeting only the oil sector. The necessary measures have to be undertaken by the president in foreign policy for different sectors.”
The Minister specifically referred to the giant offshore South Pars gas field, which has been hampered by production delays and withdrawal of foreign investment, “Focusing on development of South Pars tops the agenda of the Oil Ministry….The Petroleum Ministry will try to make completed phases of South Pars operational because we desperately need this joint field due to the country’s demand for gas.”
The Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy, Rear Admiral Gholam Reza Khadem Biqam, has said that Iran is planning to set up a permanent base in Antarctica.
“Deployment in antarctic waters is on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s agenda,” the commander told Fars News Agency.
Biqam said Iran has already begun research expeditions by the Navy’s Oceanography Institute.
In November 2012, Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdi Nejad-Nouri announced that Iran is including the South Pole in its maritime research in a five-year plan.
By EA WorldView
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