Iran names 7 Western oil companies it wants to return

Iran names 7 Western oil companies it wants to return

Iran on Wednesday named seven Western oil companies it wants back in its vast oil and gas fields if international sanctions are lifted and said it would outline investment terms in April next year, Reuters reported.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh named the seven in order: Total of France, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy's ENI, Norway's Statoil, Britain's BP and U.S. companies Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips .

Iran has the world's fourth-largest proved national reserves of oil - most of it cheap to produce - and is home to the biggest proved reserves of natural gas, some 18 percent of the global total.

With nationalisation in the Islamic revolution of 1979, the oil companies were thrown out and Iran's share of world oil production fell to below 40 percent by 1997 from 55 percent in the 1970s. They drifted back in the 1990s, and Zanganeh oversaw that return as minister in a reformist government of 1997-2005.

Total moved back into onshore fields in 1997 and Shell in 1999, both while Zanganeh was minister, and both in defiance of U.S. sanctions. President Bill Clinton had blocked a Conoco project in 1995.

But Iran's production stagnated through the 2000s amid growing international tensions over its nuclear programme. The more effective sanctions instituted in 2012 have choked out foreign investment and sent output down to 2.65 million barrels a day in November from an average of 4.3 million in 2011.

Iran reached an interim deal last month with six western powers to limit its nuclear programme, under which sanctions on oil investment and trade with Iran may be eased next year - although for now the agreement does not explicitly include a relaxation of the controls on Iranian oil sales.

EUROPEAN TALKS FIRST

Speaking to reporters at an OPEC meeting, Zanganeh said he was already talking with some companies, although so far not those from the United States.

"We had no limitations for U.S. companies. Twenty years ago there were limitations against them from their own administration. For doing projects in Iran, we have no limitations," Zanganeh said.

He is due to meet senior executives from Western oil companies including Eni and Shell on Thursday, an Iranian oil official said.

Zanganeh made no mention of Russian, Chinese or Japanese companies or those of other nationalities. Asked whether he would like to see Asian, Indian or Chinese companies coming to Iran as well, he said: "Yes, but now we are discussing with European (firms)".

He said contract terms would be better than those in post-war Iraq, which limited oil companies to operating fees rather than the share of production deals they prefer.

"I cannot say more about the detail," Zanganeh said.

Mehdi Hosseini, an Iranian official in charge of revising national investment terms, told Reuters he hoped to be able to introduce the new contract model at a London conference in the second week of April.

"The Iranians aren't under any illusions that they can draw anyone in before the sanctions are lifted," said a Western oil executive from a company previously involved in Iran. "And most international oil companies will be careful not to go one step too far before a final agreement is reached between Iran and the West."

A Western oil source from another company that had invested in Iran said, "A removal of sanctions that would allow for tangible progress for international oil companies is still at the minimum 18-24 months away."

ON-OFF HISTORY

The love-hate, on-off relationship between Iran and foreigners intent on exploiting its oil dates back long before the revolution of 1979, and BP, perhaps the most badly scarred by its past experiences there, was being cautious about the prospects for a new era of co-operation on Wednesday.

"Iran has not had access to a lot of recent technological developments," said a spokesman. "It clearly has a lot of potential. However as this is likely to be a very complicated political process we need to take our time and watch the situation carefully."

Over a hundred years ago, BP was called the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and later the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company - with both names reflecting the importance of Iranian oil to what was then a state-owned British group. When nationalisation came, BP lost 40 percent of its production.

Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of Total, which has been closer to the post-1979 regime than most, refused to take questions about Iran at a conference in Paris on Wednesday.

Eni has never interrupted relations with Iran, having won some exemptions from the 2012 sanctions so that the country's debt to it of around $1 billion could be repayed in oil production. Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni recently said the group must be ready to re-enter when the situation unlocks.

Shell, Exxon and Conoco all declined to comment on Wednesday.

Tesla opens Tel Aviv pop-up store
Tesla opens Tel Aviv pop-up store
Russian airline receives permission to operate flights to Uzbekistan
Russian airline receives permission to operate flights to Uzbekistan
American Airlines loss narrows as travel demand picks up
American Airlines loss narrows as travel demand picks up
Loading Bars
Latest
Azerbaijan shares footage from Jabrayil's Shahverdili village (VIDEO)
Tesla opens Tel Aviv pop-up store
Russian airline receives permission to operate flights to Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s 3M2021 retail trade turnover of small business decreases
Number of bank accounts increases in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan
American Airlines loss narrows as travel demand picks up
Azerbaijan jointly with Russia sets up car manufacturing enterprise
Number of innovative companies worldwide grows
Kazakhstan boosts production of coal, some petroleum products
Swiss president heads for damage-control EU summit
Etihad Airways to stop operating Boeing 777-300ER jets this year
Installation of info boards on roads leading to Azerbaijan's liberated lands continues (VIDEO)
French human rights activists visiting Azerbaijan's Aghdam (PHOTO)
Georgia increases imports of tomatoes from Azerbaijan
Israeli airline to organize charter flights to Uzbekistan’s Tashkent
Kazakh president points out need to timely oversee major oil projects
US must choose between real ally Ankara and fictional history - Turkish presidential administration
Kazakhstan's trade with Italy down
Uzbekistan boosts import of electric cars
Azerbaijan names winner of auction for right to develop clay field in Goygol
Azerbaijan implementing "Smart Grid" concept in Sugovushan settlement (VIDEO)
Кazakh Electricity Grid Operating Company to buy spares via tender
Uzbekistan exports dried fruits to Malaysia through Turkey
Area of agricultural land in Iran equipped with modern irrigation systems growing
ADB introducing blockchain-based food tracking project in Azerbaijan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 22
Azerbaijan publishes 1Q2021 data on lending to economy
Azerbaijan clears Sugovushan, Talyshkend from mines for construction of power transmission lines (PHOTO)
Several facilities put into operation in Iran's agricultural sector
Azerbaijani president, first lady attend ceremony of laying foundation of Mud Volcanoes Tourism Complex (PHOTO)
Georgia exports ignificant number of tractors, trucks to Azerbaijan
International revenue of Halliburton up amid increased software sales
Iran launches implementation of project on Cheshmeh Khosh oil field
Halliburton sees decrease in operating income
Azerbaijani banks' demand for foreign currency exponentially up
Turkmenistan increases production of vegetables, berries
Uzbek-Korean JV announces tender for consumables
Earth Day 2021: An unprecedented opportunity to restore our Earth
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan launches work on industrial projects in 1Q2021
Georgia reports 1,226 new cases of coronavirus for April 22
Turkey says France boosts import of domestic cars
Armenia commits provocations on state border with Azerbaijan
UAE's Universal Tubes and India's Tata in world's first blockchain-led trade finance for steel
Cargo transportation at Turkey's Adana airport reduces
Georgian wine exports to Azerbaijan see growth
Uzbekistan’s passenger cars production down in 1Q2021
Value of Turkey's grains, legumes export to Uzbekistan spikes in Mar.2021
Armenia planted plastic mines in liberated Sugovushan village - Azerbaijan's Mine Action Agency (VIDEO)
Russian GDP growth outlook downgraded to 2.9% for 2021
Inflation rate in Iran increases
Renault revenue falls for fifth quarter in a row
Turkey's 1Q2021 chemicals exports to Russia increase
Azerbaijani ministry appoints acting general director of Aztelekom LLC
Karabakh agreement - very important step in protection of human rights - German MFA
Georgian beer exports to Azerbaijan up
Turkmen carpet-making enterprise publishes production data for 1Q2021
ADB initiating program to support SMEs in Uzbekistan
Iran supplies agricultural machinery to farmers
Interconnections to increase Bulgaria’s gas market capacity by 10 bcm
Volume of loaded, unloaded cargo in Iranian ports decreases
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan raises agricultural production y-o-y
Spanish CAF eyes establishing co-op with Uzbekistan in railway transport
UAE working on increasing export of fresh agricultural products from Uzbekistan
Construction of int'l airport in Azerbaijan's Fuzuli accelerating (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan sees increase in 1Q2021 foreign trade turnover figures
Oil extend losses into 3rd day on U.S. stock build, pandemic fears
Azerbaijan's money supply rate grows in March 2021
Kazakhstan twofold decreases exports to Poland y-o-y
Maire Tecnimont to be engaged in bio-degradable polymer plant project in Russia
Turkmenistan elected Deputy Chair of UNECE
Turkey's 1Q2021 furniture exports to Kazakhstan down
Prices for precious metals up in Azerbaijan
Iran's FM calls for enhanced consular cooperation with Pakistan
1Q2021 data on Azerbaijan's gas export to Turkey issued
Iran can become trade hub between Pakistan and Central Asian countries - Chamber of Commerce
Kazakhstan's Passenger Transportation JSC opens tender to buy fuel
Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 gas exports rise multifold
Both Covishield & Covaxin work, only 3-4 in 10,000 infected post vaccine, Modi govt releases data
Vaccine Against COVID-19 Helps Prevent Severe Illness: AIIMS Chief
Azerbaijani oil prices rebound
CCMB scientists to culture double mutant, other variants to check if antibodies can neutralise virus
Georgia reveals volume of exported nuts
Armenia's refusal to provide mine maps must be regarded as violation of int'l law - Russian expert
Bharat Biotech Scales Up Covaxin Production To 700 Million Doses Annually
Geostat reveals volume of Russian exports to Georgia
Efforts To Ensure Economic Activity Least Affected, Says PM: Top Quotes
Azerbaijan to establish production of engine oil for special vehicles
Fifth batch of Rafale aircrafts arrive in India from France
2021 will not be about Covid despite second wave: Nirmala Sitharaman
IAF pressed into action for Covid management: Oxygen, equipment, medical personnel airlifted to Delhi
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for April 22
OPEC+ expected to zero cuts by late 2022
Oil demand in aviation to continue to grow until 2050
Azerbaijani anti-aircraft missile units conducting live fire tactical exercises (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for April 22
Azerbaijani currency rates for Apr. 22
Iran plans to attract foreign investment after potential lifting of sanctions
Demand of Azerbaijani state structures for consulting services grows
Georgia reveals data on exports to Russia
India posts daily rise of over 300,000 COVID-19 cases
All news