The minister laid emphasis on the political and security significance of Iran’s gas exports to the neighboring states.
The minister said Iran continues to sell its crude oil despite international sanctions on its energy sector.
“Iran has its own customers and plans have been made for crude oil exports to Asian countries,” said Qassemi.
He said he had held negotiations with his visiting North Korean counterpart for crude oil exports to Pyongyang.
“They are willing to import oil from Iran and talks will be held for oil exports to this country,” he added.
Qassemi said the western sanctions have helped Iran become a manufacturer of equipment for its oil industry.
“Cutting Iran from the world markets was the first objective of the sanctions. Today, our country has managed to defeat these sanctions through its strong presence in the oil, gas and their products market. The country can deliver oil to any spot in the world without any need for foreigners,” he noted.
“Since Iran’s oil is of high quality, foreign countries are facing losses in their refineries due to their refusal to buy oil from Iran,” he said.
The second objective behind the sanctions was to disrupt crude oil and oil products production, Qassemi said. “They intended to cause problems for our people, but today our refineries are offering products conforming to Euro-4 and Euro-5 standards.”
The minister said Iran is capable of supplying jet fuel, fuel oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) adding that Persian Gulf Refinery, currently 64 percent complete, will be producing 35 million liters a day of gasoline to make Iran a top exporter of fuel.
Qassemi said the third objective behind the sanctions was the non-development of Iran’s oil industry.
He stated that the giant offshore South Pars gas field is now in the best conditions of development. “Until two years ago, only eight drilling rigs were operating there, but today 18 are operating thanks to the assistance of domestic manufacturers and engineers. Today, 19 phases of South Pars are being developed simultaneously.”
The minister said South Pars has seen 75 percent progress in onshore development and 60 percent progress in offshore development.
Qassemi said 10 billion dollars in oil futures are forecasted to be offered this year.
The minister also announced that Iran would become self-sufficient soon in the manufacturing of refining equipment. He said an Iranian turbocompressor will soon become operational.
“We used to import such equipment as cables, but today they are manufactured entirely in the country,” he said.