Iran Denies Reports of Decline in Its Oil Exports
Thursday, 17 May 2012 | 00:00
Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi denied reports that there has been decline in Iran's oil experts, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
Asked by reporters, in Iran's northeastern Khorasan Razavi province, whether he confirms a decrease in Iran's oil exports, the minister said: "We are not facing any decrease in (oil) exports," according to Mehr.
He also rejected the reports that 30 million barrels of Iran's oil are left on the southern waters of the country.
Recently, foreign media reported that due to the sanctions and as a result of reduction of oil purchase by Iran's customers, Iran has reserved its extracted oil up to 30 million barrels on its southern waters.
India Tuesday said it had decided to reduce crude oil imports from Iran by 11.1 percent this fiscal year to 15.5 million tons, a move which comes in the wake of pressure from the United States to isolate the Gulf nation over its nuclear program.
"Total crude oil imported from Iran by Indian companies during the period 2010-11 and 2011-12 is 18.50 million tons and 17.44 million tons respectively. The target fixed for import of crude oil from Iran for the year 2012-13 is approximately 15.5 million tons," Indian Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R.P. N. Singh told the Parliament.
India currently imports 80 percent of its crude oil from over 30 countries, and it relies on Iran for 12 percent of these imports.
Indicating that the reduction in oil imports from Iran is not based on the U.S. pressure, the minister said that the quantum of crude oil imported by Indian refineries from various sources is decided by themselves on the basis of technical, commercial and other considerations.
"To reduce its dependence on any particular region of the world, India has been consciously trying to diversify its sources of crude oil imports to strengthen the country's energy security," Singh said in a written reply to the Parliament.
India's decision came a week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that New Delhi needed to further reduce imports from Iran to win waiver from U.S. sanctions.
To reduce the impact of sanctions on the country's oil sector, Iran's oil minister asked the EU, in April, to reconsider its sanctions on the Islamic republic's oil exports.
EU leaders approved in January the latest raft of restrictive measures on Iran's oil exports over Tehran's nuclear program they suspected of military aims. The sanctions were expected to come into force on July 1 but the EU states postponed the consideration of the plan.
"If Europeans don't cancel the oil sanctions, they will, for sure, have grave impacts on the energy market especially on the energy security," Qasemi said on the sidelines of an international oil show in Tehran on April 19.
"We are waiting for good news (from the Europeans) and the Europeans' response to Iran in Baghdad will be important for the oil market," said the Iranian oil minister.
The Iraqi capital of Baghdad will be hosting the next round of nuclear talks on May 23 between Iran and the world powers. The dialogue is expected to bear fruit in resolving the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.
On Tuesday, the local satellite Press TV reported Iran and Iraq are talking to establish a joint oil company.
Iran and Iraq are set to hold a new round of talks focusing on the development of a joint oil field as well as the establishment of a joint oil company, said the report.
Energy officials from the two countries will discuss the issues in Tehran on Tuesday.
Tehran and Baghdad are scheduled to form a six-member joint technical committee to conduct related studies and monitor the implementation of joint plans, according to the report.
Currently oil officials of the two neighboring countries have agreed to develop the Sohrab oil field in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan, and Iranian contractors will develop the joint field under a proposal by Iraq, said Press TV.
The two countries have 23 joint oil fields in the border regions.
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