Iran says sanctions will not affect oil sector


Iran’s oil minister said on Thursday the latest UN sanctions on Tehran over its disputed nuclear plans would not affect the oil sector in the world’s fourth-largest crude producer.

Gholamhossein Nozari was also quoted as describing this week’s OPEC meeting in Vienna as positive and said the impact of the cartel’s decision to keep production unchanged would be seen in coming weeks. OPEC ministers agreed to hold output steady and said oil prices which hit an all-time high on Wednesday were driven by factors beyond their control. US crude surged to a record $104.95 a barrel in late Wednesday trade. “After this decision of OPEC members which was taken after taking into consideration the realities of the market ... the global oil price has increased by $2 a barrel,” Nozari told the Oil Ministry’s Web site Shana. But he said: “The impact of OPEC’s decision on oil prices will become clear in future weeks and one should see how the price growth develops in future weeks.” The world’s biggest fuel burner, the United States, had said even a token supply increase from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would help to tame prices and limit any damage to a fragile world economy.

The UN Security Council voted on Monday to introduce a third sanctions resolution against Iran over its refusal to halt nuclear work major powers fear is aimed at making bombs, but which Tehran says is designed to generate electricity.

Economists say UN and separate US punitive measures imposed on Iran since 2006 are making Western companies more wary of investing in the Islamic state even though it remains a magnet for oil majors because of its vast energy resources. But Nozari said: “Iran’s oil industry is mature enough that this issue does not have an impact on it.” (Reuters)


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