Iran can make up for Iraqi oil, minister says

Tehran wants market stability, oil minister says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 23, 2014 at 9:57 AM

TEHRAN, June 23 (UPI) -- Iran has the ability to make up for any supply issues stemming from ongoing conflict in neighboring Iraq, the Iranian oil minister said.

Crude oil prices spiked last week on word Islamist insurgents in Iraq had laid siege to an oil refinery north of the capital city Baghdad.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Saturday his country was ready to step in should output from Iraq suffer.

"Iran has currently enough capacity to make up for Iraq's oil supply shortage," he told the Oil Ministry's news agency, Shana, "Iraq's upheavals aside, Iran has always sought to maintain a steady and stable supply in the oil market."

Closure of the Baiji oil refinery in Iraq has caused national supply disruptions, though U.S. officials have said there are no export problems tied directly to the Sunni-led insurgency.

Zanganeh said his country was ready to work with foreign companies who may be ready to invest in Iran.

"Given the present circumstances, I am optimistic about the return of these companies to Iran," he said.

Iran has reached out to international investors in an effort to take advantage of the modest relief from sanctions, which came as a result of ongoing discussions over its controversial nuclear energy program.

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