Iran pledges to find Caspian gas reserve

Iran pledges to find Caspian gas reserve

TEHRAN - Reuters
Iran pledges to find Caspian gas reserve

‘Iran is a major oil producer and any sanctions on our oil export would harm the global market,’ says Rostam Qasemi, the oil minister of the Islamic republic. AFP photo

A new gas reservoir was discovered in Iran’s Caspian Sea with its reserves standing at 50 trillion cubic feet, according to Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi.

“It is predicted that after examination of exploration, the gas in this field would be much more than this,” Qasemi said during a press meeting yesterday.

Iran sits on the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia, but international sanctions have frustrated plans to develop the sector for export, and booming domestic demand has made Iran the third-largest consumer and a top-30 importer.

The European Union “definitely” will not impose sanctions on OPEC member Iran’s oil exports because such a measure would harm the global crude market, Qasemi also said yesterday.

On Dec. 9, EU leaders called on for more sanctions against Iran by the end of January, in an effort to increase pressure on Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

“Our policy is sustainable supply of oil to Europe ... Iran is a major oil producer and any sanctions on our oil export would harm the global market,” Qasemi said.

Last week, EU foreign ministers agreed to develop new sanctions on Iran’s energy, transport and banking sectors. Iran has been hit by four rounds of U.N. sanctions and international sanctions for defying to halt its sensitive nuclear activities, which the United States and its allies say is aimed at building bombs.

In its latest report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released new evidence confirming international concerns that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.

Tehran denies the allegation, saying it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity.

Iranian authorities say the sanctions have had no impact on Iran’s economy, and have defied the U.N. Security Council’s demands to halt the country’s sensitive nuclear work.

“We (would) have no problem to find a replacement for the EU oil market,” Qasemi said.