August 29, 2008

Iran Turned Main Challenge in Oil Industry to Big Opportunity – Minister

Text of report in English by Iranian official government news agency IRNA website

Tehran, 29 August: Iran's Oil Minister here Friday [29 August] considered the Iranian oil industries' greatest challenge in recent years the provision of parts, reiterating that we turned it to an opportunity, manufacturing what we needed in Iran.

Gholamhoseyn Nowzari further reiterated in an interview with IRNA Economic Desk, "During the past three years the most important goods and spare parts required by our oil industries were manufactured inside our country."

He referred to the manufacturing of facilities to seal the oil wells and drilling oil derricks as spectacular achievements of the Iranian oil industries, adding, "The number of drilling oil derricks in the year 2005 was about 56, but today the National Drilling Company, which is the private sector, too, has made investments, owns over 75 derricks, which shows a 50 per cent increase."

Nowzari reiterated, "These are the opportunities we grasped during the course of the past three years."

IRNA asked, keeping in mind that the problem for moving from Phase 9 to Phase 10 of the South Pars Oil Field has been announced to be the provision of required parts, could the Iranians not manufacture those parts locally? Nowzari replied, "Some of the parts needed there had to be imported."

He all the same stressed, "Those parts, too, have been provided now and there is no problem currently," adding, "The world is very large and the ways to get access to any required parts are many, therefore, we face no problem in that respect."

He said that the government's investments in oil industries has been 41 billion US dollars, partly provided from local sources and partly from foreign incomes.

Nowzari announced that that the highest daily production of Iran has been 4 million and 230,000 barrels per day, while we are today capable of producing 4 million and 235,000 bpd.

He said that the country's natural gas production capacity is 500 million cubic meters, side by side of which 403,000 barrels of gas derivatives, too, are produces.

The Oil Minister said that contract for Azadegan Oil Field's expansion project was finalized during the course of the past three years and that fields's first year production was 25,000 barrels per day, expressing hope that by the (Iranian) year end that figure would increase up to 50,000 bpd.

Nowzari said that among the other achievements of the oil industry during the course of the past three years there is beginning the operation phase of Jofeir Oil Field in cooperation with Belarus Oil Company, whose first product has been gained, and beginning the expansion project of Yadavaran Oil Field in cooperation with China's Sinopak Oil Company.

The oil Minister referred to the activation of Phase 5 of South Pars Oil Field, adding, "Seven phases of that energy field are under construction now and the contracts of remaining phases would be finalized in two months' time. Meanwhile, phases 9 and ten of the South Pars Field would begin production by early winter of 2009." He said that seven new refineries have begun production and the development plans for improvement of the currently in use refineries of the country are among the other conducted moves during the course of the past three years.

Nowzari added, "After full implementation of those projects the country's capacity for refining crude oil would increase from 1.65 million litres per day into 3.2 million."

The Oil Minister also informed the nation about being ready to be operational of twelve petrochemical projects and increasing the country's petrochemical products manufacturing up to 35 million tons during the course of the current year.

Originally published by Islamic Republic News Agency website, Tehran, in English 1445 29 Aug 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Middle East. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.