Thursday, May 3, 2012

'Saudi Arabia unable to make up for absence of Iran oil'

Iran ranks first in the world in terms of oil and gas resources.

Source: Press TV

A senior National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) official says Saudi Arabia will not be able to make up for the absence of Iran's oil in the European markets if Iran halts EU oil exports.

“I announce with certainty that [crude oil produced by] Saudi Arabia cannot take the place of Iranian oil in the global market,” Seyyed Mohsen Qamsari, NIOC director general for international affairs, said Wednesday.

On January 23, EU foreign ministers reached an agreement in Brussels to impose sanctions on oil imports from Iran as of July 1 over Western claims that Tehran’s nuclear energy program contains a military aspect. The sanctions involve an immediate ban on all new oil contracts with the Islamic Republic and a freeze on the assets of the Central Bank of Iran within the EU.

Ahead of the EU decision, Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi had said that the Kingdom is able to produce 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. Riyadh is currently producing around 9-9.5 million bpd.

Naimi stressed that Saudi Arabia is ready to meet the increase in the global demand as a result of "any circumstances."

Qamsari said if Iran halts oil exports to EU countries, another market will be found for Iranian crude because the “global oil market is in a balanced state right now.”

Therefore, he added, if Iran's oil exports are cut to a geographical region, the deficit in supply will be covered by another market.

The official emphasized that there are many customers for Iranian crude adding, “Saudi oil is mostly of the light variety while the sour and medium varieties of oil are currently in high demand in global markets.”

On April 5, Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said that despite Western sanctions on the Iranian oil sector, the country’s crude continues to have many customers worldwide.

He added that Iran has 17-20 percent of the world’s gas reserves and 12-15 percent of its oil reserves and ranks first in the world in terms of oil and gas resources.

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