Tehran, Jan 9, IRNA - Minister of Oil Gholam-Hossein Nozari said in Tehran on Wednesday that that no talks will be held on prices as long as Turkmenistan does not resumes its gas export to Iran.
Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, Nozari said, "Gas and oil are not the only criterion for relations among countries, rather, there are other factors involved, which are also the yardstick in dealing with Turkmenistan."
Asked whether the country's diplomatic apparatus has actively dealt with disruption in Turkmen gas exports to Iran, Nozari said, "The diplomatic organ has actively dealt with the issue to the extent that the foreign minister and his deputies are engaged in discussions with the Turkmen party. National Iranian Gas Company, on the other hand, is following up the issue."
He said as Turkmen party has maintained, technical problem had been behind the halt to its gas export to Iran.
"What the Turkmen party has expressed officially as the reason for halt to its gas exports to Iran is technical problem. They maintain they are trying to remove the technical problem," he added.
The minister said people's attempts to economize on their gas consumption had been the most appropriate response to the Turkmenistan move.
"Had it not been for such cooperation on behalf of people, 130 to 140 million more cubic meters of gas should have been consumed," he said.
He added that growing gas production in the upstream sector and management of energy under such conditions are the most suitable response to Turkmens.
He added that domestic gas consumption had increased over the past few days to 110 million cubic meters compared to the figure in the same period the previous year.
He added that the cold weather over recent days is an unprecedented event in Iran as it might happen in the countries having the most sophisticated energy supplying systems such as European countries, the US and even Russia.
The official said about 454 million cubic meters of gas are daily distributed in Iran.
He said the government is trying to minimize impact of the unprecedented cold weather and Turkmen gas exports disruption on people's life.
He added that gas had been supplied to 640 cities of the country and less than 10 to 15 cities had faced with low gas pressure and five to six cities with gas cuts.
Nozari said gas consumption in Iran equals three million barrels of crude oil and said about 1,500,000 to 1,600,000 barrels of crude are refined at the country's refineries, while 4,600,000 to 4,700,000 barrels of oil, worth dlrs 100-110 billion of energy, are consumed in the country.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Nozari referred to the Iran-Pakistan- India peace pipeline project and said grounds have been prepared for conclusion of the contract, "but we prefer the deal to be signed trilaterally. The Indian party's message is that it is ready to join the contract."
He said Iran's diplomatic organ and the indian and Pakistani parties are ready to sign the deal trilaterally.
Asked to comment on the two to three months delay in commissioning of the Phases nine and 10 of South Pars gas field, Nozari said the two phases will become operational by the next Iranian year of 1387 (to start on March 21, 2008).
Nozari also predicted that oil prices will exceed well beyond 100 dollars a barrel.
"Our favorite price is the market price. Regarding current oil production level worldwide and the need for oil and energy to meet countries' economic growth objectives, oil prices will go beyond 100 dollars a barrel," Nozari said.
He insisted that enough oil is supplied to the market but what cause price fluctuations are devaluation of dollar, oil dealers and climatic conditions.
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