Natural Gas Can Play Vital Role in Iran's Economic Development

April 19, 1999 - 0:0
TEHRAN Two lawmakers yesterday said, Natural gas can play a crucial role in Iran's overall economic development. Faramand Hashemizadeh and Morteza Zarringol, members of the Majlis Oil Commission, speaking in an interview with the TEHRAN TIMES, said, We should extract our natural gas and promote its export. We have several agreements with Turkey and Pakistan for the export of gas, Hashemizadeh said and underlined the importance of foreign cooperation in the field of gas extraction.

If we work out a specific plan for the export of gas, we can earn a large amount of hard currency, he said. We have huge reserves of natural gas in the Persian Gulf, and if do not exploit them, other neighboring countries will do, Hashemizadeh said. He added, Our neighbors have exploited the natural gas reserves for years, but Iran has not yet done so.

Agreements on the exploration of natural gas with foreign companies will benefit both sides, the deputy said. Considering that our relations with most of the countries are improving, we can join hands with them as trade and economic partners, Hashemizadeh noted. Commenting on the crude oil market, Hashemizadeh and Zarringol said the United States has so far made every effort to create problems in the oil market.

Hashemizadeh said, The accord reached by the OPEC members on reducing oil production and export will run into problems if Venezuela violates its quota. Zarringol, commenting on the significance of natural gas, said, Our economy is currently dependent on oil, while we have more reserves of natural gas, which is able to solve most of our economic problems. Iran ranks second after Russia in terms of possessing natural gas reserves, but it is the 10th country on the list of gas consuming countries, Zarringol said.

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, we did not invest in the gas sector, but our neighbors did, he said. On the accord reached by the OPEC members in March on cutting the export quota, Zarringol said, If all the countries stick to their commitments, oil market will soon gain momentum.