Monday, 31 December 2012

Iran Live Coverage: All-Is-Well Oil Alerts

0703 GMT: There is a notable shortage of domestic news this morning, with Iranian media preferring to look at Syria, Iraq, Algeria, and even Belarus rather than matters at home. 

However, there are a few stories that converge on one theme: all is very well with Iran's oil and gas industry --- and even if that's not true, all is still OK.

Fars leads the way with an "informed source" who says that Iranian oil output and exports have recovered after a temporary shock from sanctions, "Fortunately, oil production has surpassed 3.1mln bpd [barrels per days] and reached 3.25mln bpd." 

Iran's oil production was 3.6 million bpd in the last quarter of 2011, but fell to 2.6 million bpd this autumn, according to the International Energy Agency. Its exports of 2.2 million bpd dropped to 860,000 bpd this summer before recovering to 1.3 million bpd in October.

Minister of Oil Rustam Qassemi said throughout the autumn that sanctions had had no effect on production, which he claimed had soared to 4.1 million bpd. However, in the last two weeks, he has altered his message to say that Iran was affected in July and August by the US-led restrictions but has overcome them with renewed production.

Deputy Minister of Oil Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr claimed on Sunday Phases 15 and 16 of the South Pars gas field, the largest in the world, will be launched in March 2013. He said that 55 oil industry projects, worth $21.5 billion, will come online within the next three months.

Khojasteh-Mehr did not mention that existing phases of South Pars have yet to start production because of a sharp decline in foreign investment. Russian, French, Spanish, and Dutch companies have withdrawn in the last three years, and China's largest firm effectively pulled out of a $5 billion contract this month.

But even if these declarations are fantasies, that is fine, according to a member of Parliament's Economic Committee. Nasser Mousavi said that the Government can cope with the sharp fall in income through a "targeted tax" and a reduction in dependence on oil exports.

The MP did not explain how an increase in non-oil revenues can make up for the decrease of up to 60% in oil exports, which have provided more than 80% of Iran's foreign income.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping