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Pertamina Eyes Iran Oil Block

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- After winning an oil and gas tender in Qatar recently, Indonesian state oil and gas company PT Pertamina is now setting its sights on an exploration right in Iran.

"We are biding for the Laleh block," Pertamina upstream director Sukusen Soemarinda confirmed Monday, referring to one of 17 oil and gas blocks that the Iranian government currently puts on offer.

Iran is the second largest oil producer at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

"We have partnered with several other firms in this venture, yet we cannot disclose them," he added.

Only recently, Pertamina had teamed up with German-based company Wintershall, a subsidiary of German chemical giant BASF, in securing an exploration right on an onshore oil block in Qatar.

Pertamina holds a 25 percent interest in the block, with Wintershall controlling the remaining 75 percent, rendering the company the operator of the block.

The commercial production of the Qatari onshore oil block is not expected to start until the end of 2008 or early 2009.

Meanwhile, in response to the global oil prices, which have been breaking records in the past few weeks, Pertamina is very likely to hike the prices of industrial fuels next month.

"It's very likely (to increase)," president director, Ari H. Soemarno, said Monday, but refused to elaborate further.

Pertamina adjusts the prices of non-subsidized fuels it sells to industry on a monthly basis, taking into account the average prices of crude oil in international markets.

After breaching the US$90 per barrel last week, oil prices ease early Monday. New York's key oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was 60 US cents lower at $88.00 a barrel in afternoon trade.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery dropped 38 US cents to $83.41 per barrel.

India Pursues IPI Gas Pipeline Deal

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- India is waiting for the political climate in Pakistan to settle down before initiating talks with that country on the transit fee for the proposed $7.4 billion Indo-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry had informed, much in advance, Pakistan as well as Iran about its intention of not participating in the trilateral talks in Tehran from September 24 to 26.

"Much should not be read into the non-participation of India. We are very much in close touch with our counterparts in Iran and Pakistan," a senior Indian official said.

Asked about the progress of the pipeline, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said India was committed to being part of the peace pipeline, and negotiations on the trilateral agreement were expected to take off by the month-end.

"During my visit to Iran, everybody was keen on India's participation and we are looking forward for that to happen."

Kordan Appointed as Head of Iran's National Gas Exports Company

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Ali Kordan, who has recently been appointed as acting deputy oil minister, was assigned here on Saturday as the managing director of Iran's National Gas Exports Company.

Kordan is due to run both jobs simultaneously.

Kordan has replaced Nosratollah Seyfi who is currently in Islamabad to finalize a USD7.4 pipeline project which will take Iran's gas to Pakistan and India known as IPI - or 'Peace' - Pipeline.

Iran: Crude Oil Prices Too Low

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran, OPEC's number-two exporter, hit out at the recent hike in oil prices, saying real prices were far lower than the 90-dollar-a-barrel level of last week.

"Oil is still cheap," acting Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said in an interview with the Iran newspaper.

"The sweet taste of oil is not tangible because it is very far from the range that is expected by us (Iran and OPEC)," Nozari said.

Nozari argued that calculations based on current inflation rates and depreciation of the dollar's value as well as high costs of oil and gas projects puts oil's true price at less than $50 a barrel.

"Today's prices even at the level of $90 a barrel (in the market) are not effective because the real price of oil is currently about $47 per barrel (as profit)," he said.

Nozari also said political issues were casting a "shadow of threat" on the flow of investment into the oil-producing countries, especially Iraq, Nigeria and Venezuela.

"If the owners of financial sources do not make a meaningful investment in the oil-rich countries, oil prices will be uncontrollable in the near future," he warned.

Oil prices ended lower Friday after striking a record high above $90 in New York amid global supply jitters and lingering tensions between Turkey and crude producer Iraq.

New York's key oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, closed down 87 cents at $88.60 a barrel. But the contract had earlier surged to a record $90.07. That beat the previous high of $90.02 set late Thursday.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery settled 81 cents lower at $83.79 after hitting a record $84.88 on Thursday.

... Payvand News - 10/24/07 ... --

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