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Ministry Denies Obstruction in Export Payments

The Oil Ministry faces no obstacles in getting paid for selling crude oil to foreign buyers, says Amirhossein Zamaninia, deputy oil minister for international affairs.

Ministry Denies Obstruction in Export Payments
(Tuesday, May 16, 2017) 21:33

On Friday, six candidates for Iran's presidential election squared off in a live debate on  state-owned TV and discussed a host of political and economic issues. In a strong criticism of the landmark nuclear agreement with six world powers that was reached by President Hassan Rouhani's administration, one conservative candidate alluded that Iran still faces difficulty in payments for its crude oil exports. Zamaninia said that that is not true.

"Some presidential candidates have claimed that there still are problems related to payments for our oil export. I don’t know the source or basis of these ideas. But the answer is clear; the Central Bank of Iran has repeatedly denied any problem in receiving money for oil exports, condensates and petroleum products," Zamaninia was quoted as saying by Eghtesad Online on Saturday.

Rouhani, the incumbent president who is seeking a second term, faces competition from Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (a three-time candidate for the job) and conservative cleric Ebrahim Raeesi, among others. Elections are scheduled for May 19, according to Financial Tribune.

"Iran on average exports 2.5 million barrels per day of crude and condensates. We are fully paid for every barrel sold. Volume of oil exports may vary daily, but there is no problem with  payments," Zamaninia was quoted as saying.

Zamaninia noted that the ministry is in talks with oil and gas giants for $70 billion worth of development projects.

"Negotiations are underway for over 25 major oil and gas projects with an estimated value of $70 billion. We expect to sign a contract for most of the projects in the next three to four months," said the official.

The projects include $40 billion in upstream oil sector and $30 billion for petrochemical, natural gas and downstream refining industries.

France's Total, Russia's Lukoil, Indonesia's state-owned Pertamina and Japan's Inpex Corporation are a handful of household names negotiating a place in Iran's energy market.

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