Oil minister: Major foreign oil companies hope to return to Iran

Oil minister: Major foreign oil companies hope to return to Iran

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 2 / Trend, N. Umid, s. Isayev

Major foreign oil companies have expressed hope for intensive cooperation with Iran's National Oil Company after the sanctions against the country are lifted, Iranian Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh wrote on his Facebook page.

He also wrote that the representatives of these companies have contacted Iran's officials and held talks wit hthem regarding the return to Iran's oil industry.

Zanganeh also wrote that, the Oil ministry will spare no effort to increase Iran's crude oil production capacity up to 4 mbpd till the end of the current solar year (will be ended on March 21, 2014).

The U.S. and the EU have imposed sanctions on Iran's oil export and banking system, as a result of which Iran started experiencing problems with exports of oil and receiving petrodollars.

Each country is currently allowed to deposit the money for importing Iranian crude oil using its national currency to a bank account in the same country. Iran is allowed to use the money for importing certain goods only from that country.

In august, Reuters quoted a senior U.S. official that Iran's monthly revenues from oil sales have dropped 58 percent since just before the United States imposed harsher sanctions on the country in 2011 because of Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

According to the report, Iran's monthly crude oil revenues averaged an estimated $3.4 billion in the first half of this year, down from $6.3 billion in the year ago period, and $8 billion from the first half of 2011, said the source, who did not want to be named due to the sensitive nature of policy on sanctions.

On September 12, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that Iran produced 2.680 million barrels of oil per day in August and exported 985,000 bpd, up 100,000 bpd compared to July.

OPEC's evaluation suggests that Iran's crude oil production in the previous year was around 2.975 million barrels per day.

Iran's officials confessed that the country's oil exports volume has dropped by a half since 2012.

Early in September Fars news agency reported that Iranian Oil ministry has invited six big foreign companies to invest in Iran's oil and gas sector.

According to the report, Iran invited Shell (UK), Total (France), Repsol (Spain), Inpex (Japan), OMV (Austria), and Statoil (Norway) to participate in development of oil and gas projects in the country.

Prior to the international sanctions being imposed on Iran, all of the mentioned companies have worked in Iran.

Previously, Zanganeh has ordered a change in the structure of the oil ministry's contracts. The change aims at improving the situation to absorb more foreign investment.

Iran holds the world's third-largest proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves, and plans to use foreign companies for various oil and gas related projects.

The country's total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels, with about 140 billion barrels of extractable oil.

Moreover, heavy and extra heavy varieties of crude oil account for roughly 70-100 billion barrels of the total reserves.

The Islamic Republic has previously dismissed foreign investment in oil industry of the country, because of sanctions of U.S and West after that IRGC supported national companies, started investing to this sphere.

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