The Caspian Sea will turn into a significant international energy hub, thanks to its vast oil and gas resources, an Iranian oil ministry official says.
A poster of the 18th International Oil and Gas Exhibition held on June 7-10 in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku.
"The Caspian oil and gas resources remain intact and the region will have an impact on global markets once its oil and gas reserves are extracted in the future," IRNA quoted Hossein Esmaili, the director general of the Iranian Oil Ministry's European, American and Caspian Sea Littoral States Affairs, as saying on Friday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 18th International Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition, Esmaili said that Iran opposes the presence of foreign oil firms in the Caspian Sea projects, arguing that the Caspian Sea littoral states have great potentials in the field of extraction of oil and gas.
The 18th International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference was held in Baku, Azerbaijan on June 7-10. A total of 285 oil and gas companies from 25 countries attended the event.
"Our past experience shows that when Western countries are allowed in energy projects, they bring new technology but never protect oil and gas reserves of other countries, and are rather after their own benefits and seek more profits," Esmaili said.
The Iranian official pointed out that all regional countries should do their best to preserve the Caspian Sea environment to avoid a tragedy similar to what happened at the Gulf of Mexico in April last year.
On April 20, 2010, 11 people were killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, leading to more than 200 million gallons (757 million liters) of oil spewing from an undersea well.
More than one year after the oil spill, the long-term impact of the disaster on the ecological health of the gulf has yet to be sorted out.
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