Sunday, August 1, 2010

China invests $40 bln in Iran oil, gas: minister

AFP – July 31, 2010

Iran's main economic partner China has invested around 40 billion dollars in the Islamic republic's oil and gas sector, a senior Iranian official said on Saturday.

Deputy Oil Minister Hossein Noqrehkar Shirazi also said that Tehran's oil exports to China fell by 30 percent in the first six months of 2010 compared with the corresponding period last year.

"The volume (of Chinese investment) in upstream projects is 29 billion dollars," Noqrehkar Shirazi told Mehr news agency, adding that Beijing had signed contracts worth another 10 billion dollars in petrochemicals, refineries and oil and gas pipeline projects.

He said China has also put forward proposals to participate in building seven new refineries in Iran.

Iran, OPEC's second largest oil exporter, has a dilapidated refining sector, forcing it to import petroleum products such as gasoline to meet domestic needs.

Noqrehkar Shirazi said that Chinese imports of Iranian oil fell in the first half of the year.

"Although Iran is still among top 10 oil exporters to China, it is the only country which in the first six months of 2010 has seen its exports to China falling," he said.

"The volume of oil exports to China in the first six months of this year decreased to less than 9.02 million tonnes or 66.12 million barrels. This shows a 30 percent decrease" over the first half of 2009, he added.


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