Minister: Dependence on oil should be reduced through oil

Tehran, Feb 5, IRNA – Minister of Oil Bijan Zanganeh said although the share of oil revenues is being gradually lessened in the country’s budget, its influence has not been reduced in the foreign trade balance yet.
He stressed that lowering oil dependence is not possible by closing oil windows but rather through oil itself.

This meant that non-oil economy should be strengthened, he added.

Speaking at a televised interview, the oil minister said: “With the help of oil, we should magnify our economy.ˈ

Zanganeh further remarked that the oil money which goes to the fund (National Development Fund) should be spent on projects resulting in the enlargement of non-oil economy.

Projects like the ones designed to develop the petrochemical sector will cut dependence on oil, the minister added.

Pointing to the current operations underway in South Pars, the minister said this year priority has been given to the phases that can maintain 100 million cubic meters of gas to guarantee there would be no problems in the winter.

In the next year, he added, the situation will improve and 100 million cubic meters more will be added to the gas production capacity and with the continuation of the trend in the year 1395 all the phases will be added to the circuit.

According to Zanganeh, it is possible that production will exceed that of Qatar although in terms of accumulation they are ahead of Iran as they have started the work sooner.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zanganeh said his ministry promoted building refineries, noting that the construction of a 60-thousand-barrel refinery is on the agenda.

He said eight investors have announced readiness so far for carrying out the project.

“We think in less than three years it could turn 480 thousand barrels of gas condensates into products which in that case we will have more than one million barrels of gas condensate processing in Iran. We will have no gas condensates for exports but the resulting products.”

He also said that in case of completion of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery there will no be no need to import gasoline and as of next year we will export gasoline, oil and gas.

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