Iran to develop joint oil fields whatever the new Iraq thinks

Friday, June 11, 2004

Iran does not plan to wait for Iraqi stability until Teheran develops joint oil reserves.

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hadi Nejad Hosseinian said Iran was prepared to develop oil fields shared with Iraq without Baghdad's permission.

Hosseinian said that despite the establishment of a joint panel, Baghdad has not responded to Iran's appeals for joint energy development. "Iran and Iraq share a few joint oilfields," Hosseinian told the Iranian daily Sobh Eqtesad. "We cannot wait and see what government takes power in Iraq, and if it is about to cooperate with us or not. We are ready to cooperate with the Iraqis through mutual coordination or even joint exploitation once they are prepared."

[On Wednesday, the Iraqi Oil Ministry reported an explosion at a key oil pipeline that feeds an Iraqi power station, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the blast, attributed to insurgents, forced the ministry to reduce electricity output around the country by 10 percent. They said Iraqi oil exports were not immediately affected.]

The two countries share the oil fields of Azadegan, Dehloran, Kushk-Hosseinieh, NaftShahr and West Paydar. Officials said Iran still intends to pursue joint energy projects with Iraq even if Baghdad awards oil and natural gas contracts to U.S. companies.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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