Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 11
By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Iran is negotiating to purchase shares in oil refineries in six countries.
"Iran is in talks with Brazil, Malaysia, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Indonesia and India to obtain shares in construction of refineries," Hamid Sharif-Razi, managing director at the National Iranian Oil Engineering and Construction Company (NIOEC), told Shana.
"Iran already holds a 30-percent share in construction of a refinery with a capacity of 250,000 barrels per day in Malaysia, and we are talking to buy a 40-percent share in another refinery in Indonesia with a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day," he said.
Sharif-Razi added that Brazil showed willingness for Iran's participation in building a refinery, as well as purchasing shares of a refinery in that country. However, he didn't elaborate on details.
He explained that Iran wants to purchase shares in foreign refineries to guaranty its oil exports.
Iran's oil exports plunged from 2.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2011 to around 1.1 mbpd in 2015, but after the elimination of sanctions in January this year, the figure resumed to around 1.3 mbpd.
Iran has recently said it resumed oil export to Europe by delivering 0.3 mbpd of crude oil to France's Total, as well as to Italy's Eni and Saras.
However, it is not clear how can Iran return to the oil market at a time when the market is facing a huge glut, as the difference between supply and demand is currently about 1.8 mbpd, despite that oil price stands below $35 per barrel.
Iran announced in 2014 that it was preparing to build five refineries in Indonesia with an aim to diversify the Islamic Republic's oil exports.
Earlier, it was reported that Iran would build an oil refinery in Indonesia with a daily production capacity of 150,000 barrels of crude oil, in addition to five smaller refineries with daily production capacities of 30,000 to 50,000 barrels of gas condensate each.
Iran's Deputy Petroleum Minister Abbas Kazemi also said on Nov. 18 last year that Iran started talks to buy an equity stake in India's Essar refinery.
However, a spokesperson for Essar Oil and Gas Ltd. earlier told Trend that the company didn't have discussions on the sale of its shares to Iran.