Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh (file photo)

Iran working with OPEC on $70-80 oil, eyes doubling exports

TEHRAN Sept. 2 (Shana) – Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on Wednesday that Tehran in cooperation with other members of the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) is following up decisions to bring balance back to global oil markets aiming at 70 to 80 dollars per barrel.

“Oil prices at 70 to 80 dollars will be fair, and majority of OPEC members agree with the figure,” he said in a televised program.

Attributing low global oil prices to the oversupply market, Zangeneh said some members of the organization mistakenly thought they could pressure US shale oil with cheap prices or make non-OPEC producers to follow their policies.

The Iranian minister said three factors of stronger dollar against euro, lack of demand, as well as the sharp slash in China’s demand have given rise to plummeting oil prices.

Zangeneh said that Iran has successfully immunized its economy with the barely above 1 million barrel export of crude oil by curtailing the inflation, moving out of recession, and registering a slow economic growth, and that it is planning to double its share of exports within OPEC in the post-sanctions period.

To a question on exploiting the joint gas fields, the Iranian minister said massive investment of $30 billion will be made in South Pars gas field’s incremental phases in two years to catch up with Iran’s untapped quota of one billion cubic meters which is partly being used by the neighboring Qatar.

Regarding investment in joint oil fields of Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields, he said Iran has accelerated development of the projects so that production will increase to 260 thousand barrels per day next year from the current 110 thousand barrels.

Zangeneh also welcomed foreign investment in Iran’s energy industry, but said the Islamic Republic is interested in technology transfer by foreign partners.

“More than cash or using the technology, we would like to have their advanced technology to be transferred to domestic companies,” he stressed.

The minister lauded the resilience and endeavors of workers in oil, gas, and petrochemical industry of Iran who in the face of sanctions managed to bring those behind the sanctions to their knees and make their efforts futile.