Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 30
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
South Africa will negotiate with the US Chevron oil company on resuming oil import in post-sanctions period, Iran's Mehr News agency reported Aug. 30.
The decision was made during the visit of Thembisile Majola, the South Africa's deputy energy minister to Tehran.
The Two parties have agreed that the South African energy ministry to talk with Chevron-which is share holder of one of the giant refineries in the African country- to resume crude imports from Iran, according to the report.
Alongside with the talks on oil import resume, Iran and South Africa also discussed oil and gas sector cooperation once the international sanctions against Tehran are removed.
Pretoria also expressed readiness on importing natural gas from Iran as well as participating in Iran's petrochemical, LNG and GTL (gas to liquid) projects.
"We are ready to transfer GTL technology to Iran," Majola said, adding the technology will be very useful for Tehran considering its huge gas reserves.
"South Africa also wants to diversify its energy resources and in line with this purpose we are interested to import LNG from Iran."
Producing GTL requires an advanced technology to convert natural gas or other gaseous hydrocarbons into longer-chain hydrocarbons such as gasoline or diesel fuel. The technology for producing LNG is easier and it involves cooling natural gas into liquid for easier transportation.
South Africa's energy giant Sasol was previously involved in discussions with Iran over the development of the country's first GTL project.
The project envisaged the development of Iran's South Pars Phase 14 with the view of turning the output into liquid gas.
However, Sasol eventually abandoned the scheme in 2006 as technicalities and outside pressures against it over its planned Iran investments mounted.
Majola further said that Pretoria wants to participate with Iran in construction of new refineries in South Africa.
"South Africa plans to increase its crude oil refining capacity from current level of 300,000 barrels per day to 700,000 b/d."
Early in May the South African energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson visited Tehran and held talks with the Islamic Republic's oil officials
She said that the country wants to establish a cooperation framework with Tehran in oil, LNG, LPG, gas and petrochemical sector.
South Africa was one of Iran's traditional oil markets before the sanctions were imposed on the Islamic Republic due to its disputed nuclear program.
Last month before the sanctions cut down Iran's crude oil exports (June 2012), South Africa was buying averagely 68,000 barrels of oil from Tehran per day.
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