July 3, 2008

Oil Exploration to Develop Provincial Economy – Iranian MP

Text of report by Iranian conservative, privately-owned Fars News Agency website

Ardabil Province, 3 July: The member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly [Iranian parliament] from Germi has said that oil exploration in Moghan District will have a deep effect on the development of the [Germi] district economy.

On the sidelines of the Croatian ambassador's visit to Moghan's oil-rich areas this morning, Vali Esma'ili said that the project to study oil exploration will be implemented by a Croatian company in two years, and its final reserves will be announced by this company, Fars news reports from Ardabil.

Pointing out that this work will help the welfare of the people, create jobs and develop the district economy, he added that despite some allegations, it has been proved that oil exploration in this district is economically substantiated by more than 85 per cent.

Esma'ili went on to say that no decision has been adopted yet as to whether the explored oil reserves will be consumed domestically or exported. We hope that with the finalization of this exploration work, as far as economic changes in the district are concerned, we will also witness the launch of related production units, he said.

He said that preliminary agreements have been reached with the Azerbaijani Republic to begin exploration in some border areas, and there are no problems in this matter at the moment.

The MP from Germi said that a definite schedule on the production and exploration of Moghan oil has been drawn up, which means that we will be witnessing this fundamental work in the next four years.

Originally published by Fars News Agency website, Tehran, in Persian 1000 3 Jul 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Central Asia. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.