Iran will hold an international two-day conference in Tehran next week on the impact of Middle Eastern and Caspian Sea oil on the global market, organisers said Tuesday.
They said 51 foreign firms from 20 nations, including British Petrol and TotalFinaElf, will take part in the conference opening Saturday, which will also be attended by OPEC Secretary General Rilwanu Lukman.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh will open the conference, which is also expected to touch on controversial oil and gas pipelines between Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev and a Western-led sponsorship group signed an agreement earlier in October on the construction of a key oil pipeline leading to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
The pipeline, whose construction is heavily backed by the United States, would carry Azeri oil and natural gas through neighbouring Georgia to the Turkish port.
Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed a deal in the presence of US President Bill Clinton in November for a multibillion dollar pipeline to carry Caspian oil to the West.
Tehran is against the building of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, arguing that it is not justified economically or politically as Washington is opposed to pipelines routed through Iran, claiming that Tehran supports international terrorism.
The Caspian is believed to have the world's third richest reserves of hydrocarbons after the Gulf and Siberia, prompting a bitter rivalry among the five seaside states: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)