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Iran's Oil Minister warns Japanese partner of further delay in Azadegan deal

Tehran, June 5, IRNA-Iran's Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh on Monday complained about the Japanese delay to join Iran in the lucrative venture for development of Azadegan oilfield south of the country, saying Tehran will turn to domestic partners and technicians in case of further prolongation.

"Japanese' delay in Azadegan oil field development has been far from expectation," complained Hamaneh.

He said Iran still awaits final decision on the issue by the Japanese party.

The Minister then touched on the so-called Iran-Pakistan `Peace' gasline and the gas price, saying the issues need further discussion by the Iranian and Pakistani sides.

"The point is that they are buyers and we are sellers of gas; naturally, the purchaser wants to buy at a cheap price and the vendor intends to sell at higher price. The issue needs to be further discussed so as to reach a common point of mutual interest," said the Minister.

He ruled out the possibility of change in title of the tri-national `Peace' gasline which will traverse Iran, Pakistan and India.

"The `Peace gasline' is not a title adopted by an official body, rather it is a name selected with an aim for further peace and tranquility between India and Pakistan," he added.

Somewhere in the interview, Hamaneh said his ministry is strongly pursuing export of gas to Europe with regards to emphasis by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

He rejected a Venezuelan offer for oil sale in Euro rather than dollar.

"At the time being, since the basis for oil sale is dollar, so the price is estimated on the same basis. Though oil price coding scheme is based on dollar, our receipts are consistent with the foreign exchange rates announced by the Central Bank of Iran," he added.

"That's the right of any country to sell its commodity in any currency it wishes," said Hamaneh, while referring to talks with his Venezuelan counterpart with respect to oil sale in Euro rather than dollar.

"To achieve the goal many methods should be taken into consideration for official price coding on a basis other than dollar," he added.

The minister then dismissed "wrong" beliefs that OPEC is the body for determination of oil prices. "OPEC adjusts oil supply with its prices so as to prevent possible oil price fluctuations and as a result to stabilize the price."

He said no definite figure had been set for oil price in the Caracas meeting. "All the OPEC members were insisting the point that current oil prices should not be less than current prices regarding recent growth in the production cost. Due to the same reason, it was agreed to hold an extraordinary meeting in case of falling oil prices," he added.

He went on to say that the OPEC members reached consensus to fix the oil production ceiling of the Organization.

He said the OPEC members will in their next meeting decide on the next president of the Organization.

... Payvand News - 6/6/06 ... --

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