Iran, Oil and Geopolitics Live on Voice of Russia

February 15, 2014

influenced by other players. When everybody is more or less agreed in one group as to whether they want to hold in production or expand production, they can pretty much moderate the price where they want it to be.

Miguel: Patricia, just to interrupt you there for a second. My name is Miguel Francis, by the way, I am here with Pavel. With Iran absent from the market for quite some time now, what do you expect the key players, that have been 'compensating' for the Iranian supply to do? Namely, Saudi Arabia which holds an impressive market share.

Patricia: First of all, on the issue of Saudi Arabia’s market share. Saudi Arabia can sit on its biggest ottoman whenever it wants to. It is not like Saudi Arabia is going to enter or not enter the – Saudi Arabia has always had the possibility to crash the market. What has Saudi Arabia gained by driving down prices? I mean, every country is gaining something: international and multinational companies, Saudi royal family, Russian government, American interest – everybody is gaining off it. So, it is not in anyone’s interest to crash the price.

Now with respect to other players coming in, I was reading some interesting articles where they were talking about possible stakeholders in Iran. First of all, you have to keep in mind that energy consumption, the demand for energy, is growing continuously. Even with the US cutting back on Saudi’s imports because of its own domestic oil production – I’ve talked to people in Houston – and they say that the Saudis are simply redirecting that supply in the direction of China. if Iran is brought back into the world community and is no longer an isolated state you're going to see China getting drilling licenses in Iran. They’re right next to China and that's very much in the interest of the Chinese.

The Europeans are constantly looking for options with respect to sourcing oil other than the Russian sources, that they are currently very married to, because of the infrastructure that was built during the Soviet period. In the US – with Iran on the fold – you'll no longer see the constant provocations of pricing oil in euros, so the dollar will become the denominator for the oil trade.

Finally, Russia and Iran have had very close ties, the minute Iran opens up, you're going to find Russian involvement heavily in Iran in respect to oil production – and gas by the way. And with the international majors coming in Russia will be getting a spillover effect of technology transfer working with different consortiums in Iran from technologies both conventional and unconventional.
Pavel: Just to support your idea I just saw it today that the international energy agency is raised its oil demand forecast by I think 1.5%. The US has come out with a statement outlining the country's intention to start exporting oil. How would that factor into the market picture and oil