MNA – Iranian Minister of Petroleum, Bijan Zanganeh, stressed that neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE nor any other country can ever replace Iran’s oil in the global market.
The oil market is under strain from an escalation of US’ pressure policy on Iran, which is a key OPEC producer with more than 2 million bpd.
After pledging to drive Iran’s oil revenues to zero, the US decided not to extend its sanctions waivers to eight importers of Iranian crude after the exemptions expired at the beginning of May.
Asked whether Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or Iraq could fill the gap in supplies, Zangeneh stressed that no country can ever replace Iranian oil.
“They have their own production, but they can’t replace our oil,” the minister said.
He was speaking to reporters on Sunday after a meeting with former Iranian oil ministers on the status and mechanisms of oil exports.
Asked whether the recent tension between Iran and UK regarding the oil tankers have affected the oil price in the market, Zangeneh said “the tension has not yet affected the oil price in the market, but we must consider the development carefully, because one of our tankers is involved and we have restrictions in this regard. The US and allies are creating restrictions for us with this thought in mind, and we have to be careful.”
He was referring to the illegal seizure of an Iran-operated oil tanker, Grace 1, in Gibraltar by British Royal Marines on July 4, and Iran’s seizure of a trespassing British tanker ‘Stena Impero’ on Friday as it was passing through a prohibited maritime passage in the Strait of Hormuz, in breach of international regulations.
About the EU’s trade mechanism for Iran, formally known as INSTEX, Zangeneh said the mechanism will only be useful to Iran if it covers the country’s oil revenues. “Otherwise, INSTEX is of no use to us,” he said.