Shifting to the recently forged gas deal between Iran and China, Javadi added that China has become the world's second major consumer of oil and that it could become the biggest consumer soon because of its overly heated economy, the English-language daily 'Tehran Times' said on Wednesday.
Pointing to current energy prices, he said that a balance is likely to be achieved in the global gas market as when there are competing oil and gas consumers in the market, oil and gas producers tend to have a greater choice.
"We can play a long-term pivotal role in the Chinese energy market given their increasing energy demand," Javadi said.
According to the US$100 billion gas deal inked by Iran and China, Iran is to export 10 billion tons of LNG to China annually from 2009.
"According to our (timetable), the NIOC LNG project will reach production stage by 2009 after which Iran will export 10 million tons of LNG within 10 years to China."
The project is estimated to turn out a mximum of 16 million tons.
Asked about the level of cooperation between the two countries, Javadi said that the Chinese are expected to work only on upstream oil development in Iran.
"However, we may let them take part in the operation of LNG projects," he added.
Meanwhile, he said that preliminary agreements have been entered into for sales of LNG produced in the 13th phase of the South Pars oil project.
"We will continue talks with our customers in order to reach final agreements."
Alluding to China, he said "Iran has found a suitable target market for 20 million tons of its LNG output."
Plans are in place to raise the country's total LNG production capacity to more than 35 million tons.
... Payvand News - 11/3/04 ... --