Iran in early planning stages for Asian refineries

Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said his country is in discussions to store strategic oil reserves in China and to build refineries elsewhere in Asia.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, June 11 -- Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said his country is in discussions to store strategic oil reserves in China and to build refineries elsewhere in Asia.

Vaziri-Hamaneh said Iran was in discussions to store crude in China, but he offered few details apart from telling reporters at a news conference: "We have some plans."

Elsewhere, Vaziri-Hamaneh said Iran is finalizing five Asian joint-venture refinery projects in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Syria for a total capacity of 1.1 million b/d.

"We are supposed to be the partner in these refineries and also to provide the crude oil for those refineries," he told reporters on the sidelines of the conference in Malaysia.

Vaziri-Hamaneh did not offer details on the projects, but a National Iranian Oil Co. official said Iran aimed to supply crude to a planned refinery in northern Malaysia.

In April Malaysian officials said discussions were under way over a proposed refinery complex and pipeline across northern Malaysia.

Apart from a 320-km pipeline, they said, plans call for a 200,000 b/d coastal refinery to be constructed by a joint venture of local firm SKS Development Sdn. Bhd. and NIOC (OGJ Online, Apr. 17, 2007).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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