Iranian official: Sanctions create opportunities for domestic and non-western companies
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 6 / Trend D.Khatinoglu, U.Ismayilova
General Director for Europe, America & Caspian Sea Neighboring Countries in Iran's Oil Ministry Hossein Esmaeili Shahmirzadi told Trend that Iran considers western sanctions as a opportunity for domestic companies.
"Imposing sanctions over Iran is not a new story, they have been around last 30 years, and Iran adopted itself to conditions and circumstances each time. In this sense, the intensity of sanctions only differed," Shahmirzadi said on the sidelines of the 20th anniversary of the Caspian Oil & Gas 2013 international exhibition and conference held in Baku.
According to him, Iran considers risks posed by sanctions, however looking more at the positive aspect, which provides opportunities for domestic companies to take more active part in the country's developing energy sector.
"Given that western companies have left Iran, Iranian industrial and energy companies have more chances to share energy projects in upstream and downstream," he said.
Western companies, along with some companies from Russia, India and other countries have left Iranian energy project in 2009, while Chinese companies with $45 billion worth contracts almost stopped developing projects. The latter, in turn, led to termination of some contracts, including for development of Phase 11 of the South Pars gas field.
Iranian companies have replaced them, although the speed of progress in the development of the projects is very slow.
Iran has not commissioned any new phase of the giant South Pars field since 2009, while the country's oil output has decreased from near 4 mbpd in 2009 to 2.65 mbpd in 2013, according to OPEC statistics.
Shahmirzadi called on non-western companies to make investment in Iran's energy sector.
He went on saying that other companies, including Azerbaijani ones, can take part in Iran's energy sector development.
"Iran welcomes Azerbaijani companies to participate in its projects," he said.
The U.S. sanctions bans American companies from making investment in Iran's oil and gas sector to the sum exceeding $20 million. Companies from other countries may also face certain consequences for making investments, such as facing being subjected to the U.S. sanctions.