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Iran, 2nd ranking OPEC oil producer: Oil Minister

Kuala Lumpur, June 11, IRNA - Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri- Hamaneh said here Monday that the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is presently the world's third largest-ranking oil company.

Addressing the 12th Annual Asia Oil and Gas Conference (AOGC) 2007, he stressed that with 136 billion barrels of oil reserves, and 28/2 TCMs of natural gas, Iran is the second ranking OPEC oil producer, the world's second ranking owner of oil and natural gas reserves, and is capable of playing a very vital role in the world's energy equations.

"Based on Iran's petroleum strategy and its 4th and 5th five-year economic development plans which started in the year 2005, the country's oil production will reach 5.31mb/d by 2014 from its current level of 4.3 mb/d.

"An average annual increase of 3.2 percent in production capacity in the 2005-2014 period, will allow Iran to maintain its position in the international energy market and play a greater role in ensuring the security of energy supplies," the Iranian minister noted.

Taking into consideration the other hydrocarbon liquids, Iran's total liquid hydrocarbons production will be 7.1 mb/d by 2014 (the final year of the country's 5th development plan), he added.

"Share of natural gas in Iran's energy mix is 60 percent at present. The country is attempting to raise its domestic use of natural gas and also use it in energy-intensive industries where the share of energy in the cost of their production is above 20 percent.

That policy will release more oil and oil products for export," Vaziri-Hamaneh said.

Iran is also busy implementing plans to collect associated gases to use to prevent the reservoirs' pressure decline and to curb environmental pollution, he said stressing, "So in the coming few years, no gas will be flared away in Iran."

According to the Iranian development plan, the next 10 years will witness a stronger growth in the country's rich gas production, he said stressing that this will raise Iran's natural gas production on an average annual 14 percent growth to 1.510 mcm/d by 2014, from 560 mcm/ of today and 700 mcm/d by end of 2007.

"A major part of that increase (about 50 percent of natural gas production in 2014) will be from the giant South-Pars, which is a joint Iran-Qatar field, for development of which Iran has planned 24 phases to produce 751 mcm/d, and so far 5 phases have come on stream.

Five phases will be complete by end of this year," he added.

NIOC contractors are doing feasibility studies on eight more phases which are set to come on stream in 2011, Vaziri-Hamaneh said adding that six other phases are going through bidding processes, to allow all of that field's development phases to join the country's gas production network by 2014.

Ethane is also amongst the productions of South-Pars, which provides investment opportunities for relevant petrochemical industries, he said adding, "To attain the said production and to develop fields, such as Azadegan, Yadavaran, Jofair, Kish, North-Pars, Golshan, Ferdos, South-Pars, and others, Iran would need dlrs 93 billion in foreign investment, and more than dlrs 43 billion in domestic financial resources by 2014."

He further regretted that Iran can not meet that level of investment and technology needs on its own.

Iran's domestic refining capacity of 1.625 mb/d has to increase to 2.94 mb/d in the coming five years. The plan requires an estimated dlrs 12 billion investment.

"I would like to stress this important point that development of contractual frameworks for the participation of countries in the development of the world's oil and gas industries with due respect to national sovereignty rights of energy producing countries, has to be the basic principle of energy cooperation," he reiterated.

This would be in recognition of the fact that although producing countries comprise the main pillars of energy supply security, consuming countries that have the required capital and technology, also have a vital role to play in this regard, he said concluding that in the absence of the two groups' cooperation, challenges ahead will make the realization of Asian energy security impossible.

... Payvand News - 6/11/07 ... --

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