Zanganeh: Oil not an arm to use against rivals

TEHRAN, Sept 27 (Shana) – Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh says oil is not an arm to be used for harming the rivals.

“Oil is not an arm and it should not be used as a lever to harm the rivals and materialize political objectives,” said Zanganeh in an address to the First specialized session of the International Energy Forum (IEF) in Algiers on Tuesday.

He said, “I am afraid to say certain parties have lowered oil prices to the level that has harmed interests of other producers.”

He went on to say, “Now, continued fall of oil prices is the most important issue facing the market and lower prices have thus far entailed negative consequences and will continue to do so in the future.”

The minister announced, “The negative impacts (of falling oil prices) on investment and enhancing the production capacity will be clear in the mid- and long-term and will harm interests of both producers and consumers.”

The Minister said fair prices, which will speed up investment and development of the production capacity, is necessary. “Increase in the production capacity can minimize dependence of consumers on one or two producers.”

He said this holds true with increase in the natural gas production capacity as well.

Zanganeh continued that another important issue is stopping to politicize the oil market and use of oil as an arm for whatever purpose and under any pretext.

One more challenge facing the oil market is the discriminatory policies and measures of certain consumer blocks to give subsidy to the coal consumption despite its CO2 share and also levying taxes on oil or even gas, regretted Zanganeh, adding that although the two are more friendly with the environment, they pose obstacles on the way of proper allocation of resources in line with cleaner environment.

The Minister went on to say, “We ask the International Energy Forum and its new distinguished Secretary General to move towards a level beyond contribution to statistics and exchange of information and upgrade dialogue to the level of political issues and anything producers and consumers can do to bring about safe supply and demand and cleaner environment.”

“In this position, I should say that the key to approval of the COP21 accord and the developing states’ observation of their commitments will be possible in light of cooperation of the developed states in transfer of technology and their help so that global goals of environment protection will be achieved.”

He noted, “We have always supported the measures taken in history of OPEC for stabilization of oil market and we will do the same when needed. We welcome cooperation of all the non-OPEC exporters into OPEC efforts to stabilize the market.”

He said after elimination of sanctions, Iran tried to raise its production capacity in the oil and gas sectors and to this end, it has proposed a new model of contracts.

“In this line, I encourage international oil companies to cooperate to increase production in proportion with our oil and gas reserves and I welcome them so that they will this way contribute to safe crude oil supply,” he concluded.