|Iran criticizes Iraq’s move to fill vacuum in oil market caused by sanctions||
TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has criticized Iraq’s move to fill the vacuum in the supply of oil caused by the sanctions on Iran, saying Iraq has adopted an ‘unfriendly’ policy.
Zanganeh said Iraq has increased its crude oil exports to compensate for a fall in Iranian exports as a result of the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.
“The policy is not friendly at all,” Zanganeh was quoted by the Mehr News Agency as saying on Saturday.
In October, Zanganeh said that Iran has skirted U.S. sanctions by exporting at least one million barrels of crude oil per day.
He called U.S. economic sanctions on Iran ineffective and said that the country can be run only though oil sales.
“We have learned from the sanctions that we can run the country by exporting one million barrels of oil per day,” Zanganeh added.
“If Iran exports another 1.5 million barrels a day, it will earn an annual income of $54.5 billion, which can result in an increase of over $800 billion in investment in the oil industry over the next few years,” he stated.
Meanwhile, a senior Iraqi oil official said on Wednesday that Iraq expects a robust return to growth next year as foreign companies at work in its southern oilfields push output toward the highest level ever.
Thamir Ghadhban, the chairman of the advisory commission to Iraq’s Council of Ministers, said flows are set to rise by at least 500,000 barrels per day to an average 3.5 million bpd as Majnoon, which is run by Royal Dutch Shell, Garraf, which is run led by Malaysia’s Petronas, and Halfaya, which is operated by PetroChina, ramp up.
Production of nearly 3 million bpd earned Iraq $94 billion in 2012 and netted $61 billion in the first eight months of this year, according to Reuters.
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