President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: exports of Iranian crude oil must be stopped

Posted on August 2, 2012

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Exports of Iranian crude must be stopped, country’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, IRNA reported.

Iranian Shahid Tondgoyan chemical plant has unveiled new blocks, in presence of country’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Speaking at the plant, Ahmadinejad noted that the countries have been abusing the use of crude oil, and therefore it must be limited.

The president said Iran should stop exporting crude oil, and instead use it for domestic refineries.

“Right now the price of oil is too much politicized, it is not based on economy,” Ahmadinejad said. “If the political factor was not this important, the prices would have been higher.”

He added that earlier in Iran, the U.S. companies used to control oil production, and they set their own prices, while later oil in the country has been nationalized.

Ahmadinejad said the this process of nationalization of oil is being completed.

Rather than sell crude, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said earlier that Iran hopes to turn one million barrels a day of oil into refined products by March 2016, according to the Fars new agency.

Iranian crude exports have fallen sharply because of U.S. and EU sanctions aimed at starving the government of vital oil revenues for its nuclear program by banning imports of Iranian crude and refined products.

Washington has prohibited U.S. companies from trading in all Iranian oil products for years, while an EU ban on importing crude and refined products came into effect on July 1. Western government efforts to pressure Iran’s biggest customers in Asia to reduce their trade have focused on crude because Iran struggles to meet its own needs for refined fuel.

Until 2007, Iran’s inadequate refineries and rising demand made it highly dependent on imported gasoline – a vulnerability Western powers have targeted by blocking supplies to the country.

Iran has succeed in reducing its gasoline imports by building refining capacity, cutting fuel subsidies, rationing fuel and using more compressed natural gas.

With most foreign energy companies and engineering contractors avoiding Iran for fear of angering Washington, Iran has been forced to push on with its energy projects alone.

Iran exported 2,537 bpd of crude oil in 2011. In 2010 the country exported 2,583 bpd of crude, and 2,406 bpd in 2009, according to OPEC. In 2007 Iran’s crude exports were the highest for the past 5 years, standing at 2,639 bpd.

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Posted in: iran economy