Wintershall still working on Iran deal
German economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel's visit to Iran earlier this week with over 120 business leaders has yielded few new trade deals.
Wintershall upstream chief Martin Bachmann was among the delegation and took part in several meetings. The BASF-owned upstream firm is evaluating whether to invest in Iranian fields, following a memo of understanding signed in April.
A Wintershall spokesperson told NGW October 5: “We are analyzing technical data on four onshore fields as part of an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).” The four fields were not named though and Bachmann’s visit to Iran this week has yet to lead to any breakthrough.
“The terms of the government contract setting out the legal and economic framework, including taxes and duties are not yet available,” the spokesperson for Wintershall added: "They will be key to any investment decision by Wintershall. Should Wintershall start building up operations, the company would want to have a significant daily production."
Deputy Chancellor Gabriel’s October 2-4 visit to Iran included the fifth German-Iranian economic commission, its first session for 15 years. His ministry said this identified machine-tool and car making, along with the energy and petrochemical sectors, as areas where Iran could benefit from Germany’s economic strengths. Few new deals were signed though, apart from Siemens picking up a new order this week to modernise Iran’s rail network and supply rolling stock, to add to a contract it signed seven months ago to deliver two F-class turbines to the Bandar Abbas power plant.
German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported that manufacturers in Europe are losing out to Asian and other rivals in trade with Iran, as continuing US economic sanctions hampered EU firms’ ability to finance deals. Deutsche Welle too reported that lack of financing by European banks has upset the potential for major trade deals between Iran and Germany. However German official statistics showed its exports to Iran grew by 15% year-on-year to €1.13bn in the first half of this year.