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Trump Responsible for Volatile Oil Market Conditions: Iran

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 Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh blamed President Donald Trump for the current tumultuous oil market, saying, “Throughout over a century of history in oil industry, Iran has always ensured supply security for the global oil market.”

In an address at the 4th Iranian Petroleum and Energy Club Congress & Exhibition in Tehran on Tuesday, the official said: “Today we are seeing significant fluctuations in the market. The US has caused a contradiction in the market; On the one hand, Mr. Trump and his allies seek rising oil prices for domestic consumption (of course, China and Europe do not favor rising prices because of economic pressure), and, on the other hand, they target major oil producing countries such as Iran, Venezuela and Russia, and impose sanctions on them in various ways.”

Mr. Zangeneh also underlined the boycott of investment in the Russian oil industry, adding, “this means that the market will stumble over a supply shortage within the next three years”.

“The oil market is smart, and such events (like boycotting oil producers) affect the prices. At the time of President Rouhani’s visit to New York, Trump stated in his speech that OPEC must bring the prices down. I wrote a note to Mr. Rouhani advising him to say in his speech that the United States was responsible for high oil prices and that it must remove the sanctions should it seek lower prices. Before Mr. Rouhani, the same case was highlighted by [French President] Mr. Macron in his UN General Assembly address.”

Stating that Donald Trump had disrupted the oil market balance and was therefore responsible for high oil prices, Mr. Zangeneh added: “Iran has always ensured supply security for the global oil market over a hundred years of its oil industry, as well as 40 years after the Islamic Revolution’s victory. There has not been even a day that security of supply has been threatened by Iran.”

“Iran is not and has never favored irrelevant and high prices, and we always believe that fair prices are in the interests of both producers and consumers, and that it keeps the global economic growth that is being driven by oil currently and in the future by oil, active, and creates enough resources for the producers for timely investments,” he said.

The Iranian Minister of Petroleum further said when oil prices rise, “we are not responsible”, adding: “Indeed, I’m sorry for all the insults to the nations and governments of the region who are being told “You will not last more than two weeks without US support.”

Elsewhere in his address, he said three phases of the supergiant South Pars gas field were planned to come on-stream by the end of the current Iranian calendar year to March 20 2019. Each of the phases will be operated with 1 billion cubic feet per day of sour gas production capacity.

The three phases will be the last of 24 South Pars phases to be developed by Iran. It is shared with Qatar in Persian Gulf waters.

He said licensing rounds for EPC and EPD projects were under way with a total value of 6 billion dollars which will be supplied by domestic resources.

Zangeneh said Iran’s petrol production capacity was at its highest ever with 90 ml/d of petrol production capacity in the country.

He also underlined the issue of fuel smuggling to neighboring countries, saying smuggling was not limited to petrol and included all other fuels. Each ton of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is 10 dollars in Iran while it is being traded at $500 in the regional markets.

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