European firms not ready to sign oil contracts with Iran

Tehran, Iran, May 12

By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

Iran's oil ministry is negotiating with European companies to sign oil contracts.

The country's oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zangeh, said nothing has been signed yet, as European firms are not ready to ink any contracts with Iran, IRNA News Agency reported on May 11.

He went on to note that Iran may use foreign contractors to develop the remaining two phases of giant South Pars gas field.

"We have contracts with domestic firms for development of underway phases," Zanganeh said.

Zanganeh said on May 3 that the country plans to export gas to Europe via pipeline or in the form of LNG (liquid gas).

"Europeans prefer to diversify their gas and energy sources," Zanganeh said.

"Europeans started negotiations to import Iranian gas 9 years ago. But apparently the talks were halted," he explained.

Zanganeh went on to note that Iran is a country capable of exporting large volumes of gas and is always willing to provide gas to Europe.

"Once the phases of South Pars gas field come on stream in next [Iranian calendar] year (to start on March 1, 2015), Iran will have extra gas to export," he said.

Zanganeh said on April 19 that Iran plans to export 80 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to Asia and Europe in calendar year 1400 (March 2021-March 2022).

"We are planning to export 80 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey, Europe, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Persian Gulf Arab states in the calendar year 1400," he said, Iran's IRNA news agency reported.

"We should boost oil, gas, electricity, and petrochemicals through diversifying methods of sale and cooperating with the private sector," he said, adding that the country's oil refining capacity is projected to rise to three million barrels per day.

In March, Zanganeh said Iran forecasts an increase in its crude oil and natural gas production in the current Iranian calendar year 1393, which began on March 21.

Iran's crude oil output is forecast to increase by about 200,000 barrels per day to 4 million barrels per day, and its daily natural gas output is forecast to increase by about 100 million cubic meters per day to 400 million cubic meters per day.

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