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Iran discovers new gas field

February 03, 2008


TEHRAN, Feb 2: Iran has discovered a gas field in the Gulf with estimated reserves of some 11 trillion cubic feet, Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said on Saturday.

There is a low possibility that it is a joint field (with a neighbouring country), Nozari told a news conference.Despite sitting on the world’s second-largest gas reserves after, analysts say Iran has been slow to develop the sector due to sanctions, politics and construction delays.

Iran’s daily gasoline imports have fallen about 57 per cent since the country introduced fuel rationing last June, a senior oil official was quoted on Saturday as saying.

The world’s fourth-largest oil producer lacks refining capacity and must therefore import large amounts of fuel, which it then sells at heavily subsidised prices. It introduced rationing to curb soaring consumption.

Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said Iran currently imported 15 million litres of gasoline per day on average, out of total daily consumption of 58.5 million litres.

The amount of imports in the first three months of this year before rationing began was 35 million litres a day, he was quoted by the state broadcaster as saying, referring to the Iranian year that starts on March 21.

With gasoline rationing, in the current year, more than $4 billion have been saved, he said without elaborating. A senior official suggested in October that imports would drop at least 20 percent during the current Iranian year to about $4bn worth of gasoline.

Another official last month said the government predicted $3.2 billion would be needed for gasoline imports during the year starting next March.

The rationing scheme, which provoked anger among Iranians when it was introduced, has cut average daily consumption by 22pc to 59m litres compared with the same period last year, the state oil refining and distribution firm said in December.---Reuters