Iran says it is best positioned to serve Caspian oil and gas producers

Jul 13, 2000 02:00 AM

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zamdar Zanganeh said on July 8 that his country was well positioned to serve oil- and gas-producing states in the Caspian Sea basin. Because of its location and circumstances, Zanganeh said, Iran offers the most logical export route and market for Caspian producers.
Iranian refineries are already processing Caspian crude obtained through swap arrangements, he said. The Tehran and Tabriz oil-processing plants are presently handling 130,000 barrels of Caspian oil per day, he stated, and will be able to take even more once efforts to improve infrastructure in the northern part of the country are completed.
He stated that work on a swap pipeline from Neka to Tehran had already begun and that the first stage of this pipe would come on line within six months. When finished, Zanganeh said, the Neka-Tehran line will be able to carry 380,000 bpd of Caspian oil. The 32-inch pipeline will be fully operational in about two years, he stated.
The minister went on to say that Tehran was, in spite of its hopes of acting as a conduit for Caspian oil and gas, ready to action to ensure its claim, as one of five littoral states, to a 20% share of the Caspian's resources. Iran will stake out its sector of the sea based on the assumption of a 20% share, he said. He remarked that the Iranian government would not wait for the other littoral states to agree on a legal regime before it began exploration and development of its presumed sector. Zanganeh said that exploration work in that area was nearly complete.

Source: NewsBase
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