Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh, reacting to Saudi energy minister"s recent remarks about Iran being a threat to global energy security, said: "Mr. Falih is a technocrat and a respectable person and does not often speak politically; he must have probably been asked to say such political things."
Speaking in a televised interview on Sunday night, Mr. Zangeneh said: "Mr. Falih ought to have said so when I was still there [in Vienna] so that I could properly respond."
He blamed the US for destabilizing the energy market in the world, saying: "Iran is the biggest guarantor of energy stability and security in the region while the US is the biggest de-stabilizing force in the world"s energy sector."
For the time being Iran is not primarily concerned with the price of oil and was rather focused on the amount of its oil exports, Zangeneh said.
"We have always said that oil is not a weapon but where energy security is at stake, we will be affected."
"Right now, the price of oil is not the number one issue for Iran, rather the number of exported oil barrels is what that matters."
The US is the world"s largest producer of crude oil which had added roughly 3.6 mbd to its output over the past two years. Washington is putting pressure on Iran and Venezuela to make room for its oil in the market, Zangeneh said.
The market was shocked by the US crude output which was completely unexpected, he added.
The Iranian Minister of Petroleum said too high prices could reduce demand for oil which would harm the producers by losing market share which was almost the case for the time being.
He stated that shale oil production breakeven is reportedly below 40 dollars per barrel.
Petrochemical Sanctions: Nothing New
It seems to be kind of propaganda and things are just like what has been before, he said, regarding petrochemical sanctions.
Speaking of the current state of Iranian refineries, he said: "Our refineries have been operating at full tilt and we can export all petroleum products. Iran"s petrol production would cross 110 million liters which is a historical record. We have surplus production capacity for almost all petroleum products that are ready for exports."
"Unilateralism could cause OPEC demise. We do not stand on ceremony when dealing with fellow OPEC members."
He said the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, Khalid al Falih, was a technocrat personality and what he said about Iran were not necessarily his own views.
Oil, not a Political Issue
Iran would seal deals for Azadegan Oilfield if developers stepped in, Zangeneh added.
He said Iran lacked technical savvy to complete South Pars Phase 11 whose development was planned in a contract signed between by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and a consortium of Total, Petropars and CNPCI. Total pulled out of the deal and China has not stepped forward.
Iran has learned a lot from foreign developers in South Pars, Zangeneh said.
He asserted that 17 offshore South Pars phases were launched under President Rouhani since 2013.
"CNPCI has so far failed to start developing Phase 11 project in Iran. Petropars, as a member of the project"s consortium, is to be assigned development of the project," he said.
"China is a friend of Iran and the latter would not opt for severing ties with China for foot-dragging in projects. We are seeking alternative solutions."
He also said that Iran eyed 300,000 b/d oil recovery from West Karoon Oilfields