Iran's Press TV announced Monday that "Iran has launched an oil bourse on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf for trade in crude and petrochemical products."[1]  --  The article noted that "The first phase of the bourse kicked off in 2008" and said that "The new international exchange hall will offer 40 kinds of oil products."  --  A Fars News Agency piece noted that Kish Island is a "free trade zone" and that "all exchanges in the oil bourse will be tax exempt."[2]  --  Reuters said that "The first phase of the exchange for trading oil products was inaugurated in February" (neglecting to mention that this occurred in 2008).[3]  --   COMMENT: Western corporate-owned media are mostly maintaining a willful ignorance with respect to Iran's oil exchange.  --  Except for a UPI squib,[4], the Reuters article appeared to be the only Western English-language, French-language, or German-language piece to note the event, despite abundant attention to other Iran news.  --  BACKGROUND: As Wikipedia notes in its useful article on the Iranian oil bourse, "The three current oil markers are all US dollar denominated: North America's West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI), North Sea Brent Crude, and the UAE Dubai Crude.  The two major oil bourses are the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in New York City and the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) in London & Atlanta.  As the Oil Bourse in Kish is developed through successive stages, the plan is to establish a Petrobourse as a fourth oil market, denominated by the Iranian rial, the euro, and other major currencies." ...

1.

Iran

Energy

IRAN LAUNCHES OIL BOURSE


Press TV
October 26, 2009

http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=109697


Iran has launched an oil bourse on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf for trade in crude and petrochemical products.

The new international exchange hall will offer 40 kinds of oil products.

"The inauguration of the hall will enhance Iran's strategic position in the region," Bourse Organization Chairman Ali Salehabadi said on Monday.

Salehabadi, who is also the chairman of the Tehran Stock Exchange, stated that Iran produces over 25 percent of the total output of petrochemical products in the Middle East.

At least 30 domestic companies and 20 foreign firms are active in the oil and petrochemical industries on Kish Island.

The first phase of the bourse kicked off in 2008.

Iran, which possesses the world's second-largest gas reserves and third-largest oil reserves, is making efforts to play a more active role in oil and petrochemical transactions in international markets.

The Islamic Republic also wants to encourage local investors to participate in the oil market as it tries to reduce the state's role in the country's energy industry.

2.

IRAN OPENS INT'L HALL FOR OIL EXCHANGES IN KISH


Fars News Agency
October 27, 2009

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8808051232


Iran inaugurated a new international exchange hall in the Persian Gulf Island of Kish on Monday for trading oil and petrochemical products.

Iran's oil and petrochemistry bourse would be an international market place for trading 40 kinds of oil products.

Iranian Oil Minister Seyed Shamseddin Hosseni told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony in Kish Island that all exchanges in the oil bourse will be tax exempt.

Meantime, Chairman of Iran's Bourse Organization Ali Salehabadi said on Monday that the inauguration of the hall "will enhance Iran's strategic position in the region."

Salehabadi further stated that Iran produces over 25 percent of the total output of petrochemical products in the Middle East.

The country's first oil products bourse had launched its operation earlier in 2008 in the free trade zone on the Persian Gulf Island of Kish.

At least 30 domestic companies and 20 foreign firms are active in the oil and petrochemical industries on Kish Island.

Iran produces more than 20 mln tons of petrochemical products per year.

As the fourth-largest oil producer in the world, Iran has a measure of influence over international oil markets.  The country ranks second for output among OPEC countries, and controls about 5% of the global oil supply.

Tehran also partially controls the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz, through which 40% of the world's oil supply must pass.

3.

IRAN OPENS EXCHANGE TO TRADE OIL, PRODUCTS -- ISNA

By Parisa Hafezi

Reuters
October 26, 2009

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN2620293120091026


TEHRAN -- Iran, OPEC's second-biggest oil producer, launched its international oil exchange on Monday to buy and sell crude, oil products and petrochemical products, Iran's student news agency ISNA reported.

"The international exchange hall of crude, oil products and petrochemical goods of Iran was inaugurated.  Our aim is to shift oil market trade focus in the region to the Kish Island," said Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini at the inauguration ceremony, ISNA reported.

The bourse, based on the Gulf economic free zone island of Kish, has been planned for years but had faced repeated delays.  The first phase of the exchange for trading oil products was inaugurated in February.

When plans were first mooted, some analysts speculated Iran might use it to undermine the importance of the U.S. dollar by pricing crude in euros or other currencies.

The report did not specify the currency in which trading would take place.

Iran wants to deregulate prices of petrochemicals and other oil products and create more transparency as part of a privatization drive, aimed at attracting more foreign investment into the country's oil industry.

But investors have shown limited interest mainly because of international sanctions imposed against Iran over its disputed nuclear program, which the West fears is a cover to build nuclear arms.  Iran denies this.

Iran is under U.S. and U.N. sanctions over its nuclear row with the West.

Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi, a close ally of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has promised to reinvigorate the Iranian hydrocarbon sector.

He has also signified Iran's need for foreign investment to develop its oil and gas industry.  Iran lacks technical capabilities or funds to proceed with its energy projects.

Iran has struggled for years to develop its energy sector and now has to contend with an international lack of credit, as well as the sanctions.

Iran's petrochemical capacity expansion is likely to mainly focus on the rapid expansion program of the country's refining capacity.

The Islamic state lacks sufficient refining capacity to meet its gasoline needs, leaving it potentially vulnerable to any Western sanctions targeting such trade.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

4.

Energy resources

IRAN LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL OIL EXCHANGE


United Press International
October 27, 2009

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Resource-Wars/2009/10/27/Iran-launches-international-oil-exchange/UPI-78961256658262/


TEHRAN -- Iran announced the launch of an international oil exchange on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf to trade crude and petrochemical products.

Iran, the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, aims to play a larger role in the international energy market, state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

Iran is courting international investors and regional customers to take part in its energy resources.  Iran sits on some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world but lacks the refining capacity needed for full development.

"The inauguration of the hall will enhance Iran's strategic position in the region," said Ali Salehabadi, the chairman of the Tehran Stock Exchange.

Iran also aims to encourage free-market activity in the oil market in an effort to reduce the role of the state in the energy industry, the Press TV report noted.

As many as 30 domestic companies and 20 foreign firms are active in the oil and petrochemical industries at the free zone on Kish Island.

The Kish exchange features 40 different kinds of petroleum products for trade.