During a televised interview with the "First Line" program of the News Channel on Wednesday (May 18), Mr. Owji stated that the 26th Iran International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition is one of the most prestigious oil and gas events in the world, adding: “The exhibition was flocked by more than 1,200 reputable domestic and foreign firms, and during the exhibition, high-ranking officials such as the President, the Speaker of the Legislature and members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly and many international figures paid a visit to the achievements of the exhibition.”
He stated that a separate hall was allocated for the presence of knowledge-based companies in the 26th International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition, and that the necessary support was provided to them as much as possible; for example, their booths were free of charge, he explained.
Providing 70% of Oil Industry Needs from within the Country
The Minister of Petroleum, stating that currently 65 to 70 percent of the needs of the oil industry are met through domestic companies and 25 to 30 percent of it is imported, said: “Prior to the Oil Show, the needs of companies were identified and during the fair many contracts and agreements were signed with domestic knowledge-based companies to supply the needs.”
Emphasizing that almost all domestic companies now meet the needs of the oil industry in the field of turbo-compressors, Owji added: "Fortunately, some companies in many areas, in addition to meeting the needs of the domestic sector, have stepped in the export market for technical and engineering services."
He also underlined the achievements of domestic companies in production of catalysts required by the petrochemical industry, and said: "Currently, in addition to this achievement, we have made great progress in the field of petrochemical and refining equipment by knowledge-based companies.
New Oil Deals Inked
Emphasizing that since the beginning of the 13th administration, Iran"s oil exports have improved compared to before, the Minister of Petroleum said: "Until today, the money for oil sold has been received at its maturities; currently, more than 80% of oil money exported abroad is received in hard currency and the rest in the form of bartering with medicine and staple commodities.”
Owji stated: “Since the beginning of the 13th administration, the Ministry of Petroleum has been able to conclude crude oil sales contracts with other countries at the same time as increasing the receipt of oil money from its customers.”
He underlined the deposit of more than $12.5 billion in foreign exchange from the sale of petrochemical products in the Nima system last calendar year which ended on March 20, and said: "If we wanted to go to the sale of oil using the method of the previous administration, it was not clear what the exchange rate would have been."
Receipt of $4 billion in gas claims in 1400
Owji, stating that in the calendar year of 1400 which ended on March 20, Iran had more than 4 times more receivables than in 1399 in the gas export sector, added: “Last year, $4 billion in claims in the gas sector was settled; this prevented any problems in the country"s basic goods sector.”
Referring to the problems of neighboring countries in the supply of basic goods after the developments in Russia and Ukraine, he said: "Fortunately, given our good oil sales, today we have good reserves in the field of basic goods; on the other hand, by continuously providing hard currency, we were able to control the country"s FOREX market.”
Iran Refining Capacity Rising in 5 years
Emphasizing that the administration has no plans to increase the price of gasoline, the Minister of Petroleum added: "The Ministry of Petroleum has contracts with a number of contractors and workshops that have the ability to hybridize cars to burn both gasoline and gas. Currency, pickup trucks and public vehicles are being hybridized for free."
Owji stated: “Each gas-burning car costs Rls. 110 million for us, and by the end of this year, more than 200,000 cars will become hybridized.”
Regarding the country"s refining industry, he said: "In recent years, no investment has been made in this sector, but in the 13th administration, the Ministry of Petroleum has undertaken the construction of a 300,000-barrel oil refinery next to the Persian Gulf Star refinery, which was also approved in the budget law."
The Minister of Petroleum continued: "Also, 8 selected petro-refining projects have been planned in advance, and in the current administration, we have solved the issues concerning agreement in principle, feedstock permit and the feed respiration."
Referring to the conclusion of a contract between the National Iranian Oil Products Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) and one of the major automakers in the field of energy efficiency, Owji said: "With the support of the oil industry, this automobile company has started hybridizing vehicles."
The Minister of Petroleum added: "It is very likely that this year one of the 60,000-barrel refineries of condensate and crude oil will come on stream this year and the refining capacity of the country will increase by one million barrels within the next 5 years. In recent months, 8 petro-refining projects have been activated in the country. The main part of financing these projects is through petrochemical holdings, banks and foreign financing.”
Regarding the Arash field, Owji stated that this field is a joint field between Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. “About two months ago, I instructed the CEO of the National Oil Company that considering the comprehensive studies and seismic operations of this field, NIOC must quickly put the installation of the first platform for drilling of wells on the agenda. God willing, we will soon develop this field with the planning done by the National Iranian Oil Company.”
Upstream priority is the development of joint fields
Regarding other joint fields, the Minister of Petroleum explained: “The priority of the Ministry of Petroleum in the development of upstream fields is the development of joint fields, many of which have not been fully developed; the full development of joint fields, including the West Karun fields, which are also large fields and have a high capacity in oil production, are our priority. Of course, most of the contracts for these fields have been struck.”
Owji, referring to the good concessions that have been considered in these contracts, added: "God willing, the task of the APG in the country will be determined by the plans made until the end of this administration."
Fixed Price for Vacuum Baton
The Minister of Petroleum pointed to the increase in the price of vacuum batons in the stock market, and stated: “Therefore, we removed it from the stock exchange and the fixed price of Rls. 75 million per ton was determined for it, which is the same price this year.”
New Oil Customers Identified
Elaborating on his recent visit to Latin America, the Minister of Petroleum said: "With the beginning of the 13th administration, the issue of identifying new customers, new markets and new capacities was part of the approach towards Latin American countries. Latin America accounts for more than 20 percent of the world"s oil reserves; Venezuela alone has perhaps the largest oil fields and the world"s largest oil refineries.”
Owji continued: "With the beginning of the administration, in the Ministry of Petroleum, we pursued the issue of exports to Latin America, which included the export of oil, petroleum products, gas condensate and petrochemical products. We identified good markets in this area, which led to good contracts.”
Referring to the presence of a strong team during the trip to Latin America, the Minister of Petroleum explained: "Fortunately, friends from the Cabinet and three Deputy Ministers of Jihad for Agriculture, Chairman and member of the Energy Committee were present during the recent visit and we had the support of the administration and parliament which also led to good MoUs in the field of agriculture.”
Explaining the diversity of agreements reached with Latin American countries, Owji said: "Our cooperation with Latin America began with the export of oil, gas condensate, petroleum products and petrochemical products, and then in parallel with identifying the capacity of their refineries, developing oil and gas fields and the export of technical and engineering services was on the agenda.”
He referred to the construction of the refinery as one of the long-standing plans of the Ministry of Petroleum, and added: “During this trip, we sent expert and technical teams from different departments and the capacities were identified; in the Ministry of Petroleum, one of the discussions for many years has always been to have an offshore refinery, and fortunately, during this trip, one of the very good achievements was signing a contract for using the capacity of the oil refineries of these countries.”
He further promised that Iran would reach its full export capacity within a year.
The Minister of Petroleum, stating that with the planning of the Ministry of Petroleum, “we promise to reach our full export capacity within the next year,” noted: “With these measures, the energy needs of the destination country will be met, which is a good market for our production and on the other hand will prevent sales of oil and gas in crude form.”