Zanganeh to Falih: Iran no threat to global energy security

July 8, 2019

TEHRAN - Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Sunday that Iran is not only no threat to the world's energy security but also the biggest guarantor of stability and energy security in the region, Shana reported.

The minster made the remarks in reaction to an earlier claim by Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who claimed Iran is posing "threats to global energy security."

Speaking in a televised interview, Zanganeh said “Falih is a technocrat and a respectable person and does not often speak politically; he must have probably been asked to make such political remarks.”

Zanganeh blamed the U.S. for destabilizing the energy market in the world, saying: “U.S. is the biggest de-stabilizing force in the world’s energy sector.”

U.S. destabilizing actions

He further mentioned some of U.S. actions in the oil market saying that the U.S. is the world's largest producer of crude oil which had added roughly 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd) to its output over the past two years. Washington is putting pressure on Iran and Venezuela to make room for its own oil in the market.

The market was shocked by the U.S. crude output which was completely unexpected, he added.

“We have always said that oil is not a weapon but where energy security is at stake, we will be affected.”

The official, elsewhere, noted that Iran is not primarily concerned with the price of oil and was rather focused on its oil exports.

“Right now, the price of oil is not the number one issue for Iran, rather the number of exported oil barrels is what that matters.” he said.

The Iranian oil minister further said too high prices could reduce demand for oil which would harm the producers by losing market share which was almost the case for the time being.

He stated that shale oil production breakeven is reportedly below 40 dollars per barrel.


Petronas to be assigned SP phase 11 development project

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zanganeh mentioned South Pars phase 11 development project noting that Iran lacked technical savvy to complete South Pars Phase 11 whose development was planned in a contract signed between by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and a consortium of Total, Petropars and CNPCI. Total pulled out of the deal and China has not stepped forward.

“CNPCI has so far failed to start developing Phase 11 project in Iran. Petropars, as a member of the project's consortium, is to be assigned development of the project,” he said.

“China is a friend of Iran and the latter would not opt for severing ties with China for foot-dragging in projects. We are seeking alternative solutions.”

He also said that Iran eyed 300,000 bpd oil recovery from West Karoun Oilfields.

EF/MA

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