Iran to maintain ties with OPEC, Zangeneh

TEHRAN Feb 07(Shana)–“The Islamic Republic of Iran prefers to continue its membership in OPEC even though the recent decisions made by the organization had not been in line with our views”, Iranian Minister of Petroleum, Bijan Nanmdar Zangeneh said.
Speaking at a live television program on Wednesday night, Zanganeh said remaining in OPEC is in favor of the country.

Elsewhere in his remarks he elaborated on the reasons behind falling oil prices stating fundamentals (supply and demand) were the main reasons behind falling prices.

Oversupply is mainly to blame for fallen crude oil prices although political factors have also had an effect, Reuters quoted him as saying.

“Surplus oil supply in the market has been the main cause of price declines in recent months,” he told national television”.

“There is no doubt about political factors having an effect to sustain the situation; but at what percent, one cannot say for sure,” he said.

He said there were 2 million barrels per day of excess oil supply in the market, and “this is expected to endure for the first six months of 2015”, IRNA said.

Tasim News Agency also quoted Iranian Minster of Petroleum’s remarks on political reasons behind falling oil prices reporting “Iran’s oil minister said political reasons have played a key role in the continued declined of global oil price, adding that the US and its allies are trying to deal a blow to the Iranian and Russian economy using the low oil price.”

Speaking to Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said political factors have “undoubtedly” had a role in the oil price slump, but underlined that “market fundamentals” (supply and demand) were the main reasons behind the global decline in prices.

US President Barack Obama has recently acknowledged that “political will” has been behind a decline in the oil prices, he added.

“In this regard, he (Obama) announced that Russia’ economic growth has faced a crisis following the decline in the oil price and that the US was able to exert pressure on the country (Russia) over Crimea and Ukraine using the policy (oil price decline),” Zanganeh added.

“We think the US and its allies also had the intention to deal a blow to Iran,” Zanganeh underlined.

Press TV highlighted Zanganeh statements on gasoline self-sufficiency quoted him as saying “Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zangeneh says Iran will need no more gasoline imports next year when a major refinery being built in the Persian Gulf becomes operational.”

Zangeneh said Iran will even turn to an exporter of gasoline and diesel once the Persian Gulf Star Refinery comes on stream. The next Iranian year, meant by Zangeneh, begins in March.

Gasoline stood out as the handiest lever when the United States first started its economic strangulation of Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

The measure forced Iran to convert some petrochemical plants to produce gasoline which is highly polluting.

The production of petrochemical gasoline was halted after President Hassan Rouhani came to office and imports resumed after Iran clinched a temporary nuclear agreement.

Iranians burn less than 70 million liters of gasoline a day, of which five million liters is imported, the minister said.

Zangeneh said he was “not worried” about gasoline and diesel supplies next year.

“With the completion of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery, 36 million liters (a day) will be added to the country’s gasoline and diesel production,” he said.

“And with the entry of one train of the refinery into generation, 12 million liters per day will be added to the country’s gasoline and diesel production. Half of this capacity is enough to dispense with gasoline imports next year,” Zangehen added.

The minister said, “With the operation of one train of the refinery, we will turn to an exporter of these two oil products.”

Iran is building the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in Assalouyeh at an estimated cost of 2.5 billion euros. The plant is further expected to produce 360,000 barrels per day of gas condensates on top of jet fuel and other products.

The country is building another oil refinery in Kermanshah in western Iran. Zangeneh said the project faces financing problems, but efforts are being made to work them out.

Meanwhile AzerNews quoted Iranian Minister of Petroleum as saying that although OPEC’s recent decision was not in line with Iran’s wishes, the Islamic Republic should maintain its ties with the organization.

Remaining in OPEC is in favor of Iran, Zanganeh said.

Zanganeh made the remarks while commenting about OPEC’s decision last November to maintain its output level.

Iran’s oil minister also explained the reasons of the oil price fall in global markets and said excess crude supply was the main factor behind the price decrease in recent months.

In the first half of 2015, there are about 2 million barrels of extra crude supply a day compared to demand, Zanganeh said. However he said that political factors also were effective in crude price fall.

“We think that the US and its allies have intended to hit Iran,” Zanganeh argued.



The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.