February 04, 2018 15:28
News ID: 1161

(Persia Digest) – Iran’s Minister of Petroleum has stated that the expansion of gas fields is continuing in cooperation with domestic and foreign companies, and added: “We are unable to speak about the agreements which will be concluded soon, because we are worried about obstructions.”

Bijan Zangeneh continued: “Every time an agreement is signed with Iran, groups from within and without will try to dishearten our partners. Iran has a neighbor who threatens every company that wants to work with us that if they interact with us they must no longer work with them, or they offer a better project.”

On gas extractions from the South Pars field, the Petroleum Minister said: “Currently, we are extracting equal amounts of gas here with Qatar, and perhaps a little more.”

He pointed to the signature of an agreement for Phase 11 development of South Pars (SP11) with a consortium including Total, CNPC, and an Iranian company, and said: “The agreement is progressing according to schedule.”

He explained about gas exports to Iraq, and said: “The pipelines for this are in place. The Basra line in Iraq is not ready yet, but 13 million cubic meters of gas is exported from the city’s oil pipelines.”

He added: “Pakistan has not remained obligated to its commitments in gas imports from Iran. We finished the piping to the border at great expense, but Pakistan did not fulfill its side of the obligations. We must now take legal action.”

Minister Zangeneh pointed out that Turkmenistan turned off its gas supplies to Iran last year, and reiterated: “We have agreed to swap with Turkmenistan, but they have taken legal action against us and claim that we owe them money. We believe that Turkmenistan has inflicted much damage on Iran. Nevertheless, we are still ready for discussions.”

About the FLNG agreement with the Norwegian company, Zangeneh said: “This agreement was not finalized and it has now been cancelled.”

He gave explanations about developing oil fields in the Caspian Sea: “Oil extraction in the Caspian is not just a question of economics; but it is a national issue, because we must keep our stance in the area. Oil extraction in the Caspian is costly.”

Zangeneh continued: “We are discussing the development of Caspian oil fields with Lukeoil, a Norvegian company, and an Azerbaijani company.”

Iran’s Petroleum Minister concluded by saying: “Iran was owed 2400 million euros by India, of which they have reimbursed 900 million euros. The balance will be paid according to a clear process.”

Zangeneh continued: “Iran’s funds from the sale of oil has not been blocked in China. But, the money is credited to an account the withdrawal of which is costly for us. We have conducted many discussions on the subject to no avail. Apart from these two issues, Iran’s money from oil sales has not been blocked in any country.”

He stated that oil money is not linked to the JCPOA nuclear agreement, and reiterated: “Certain issues pertain to confining US activities. Legally, no banks in the world have limitations about working with Iran. But, the US has shares in some of these and they are unwilling to work with Iran. There are also those banks who will not risk working with Iran. But, if it was not for the JCPOA, we would not have the South Pars fields and the Persian Gulf Star refinery either.”

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