France’s Total and Russia’s Lukoil are in a new round of talks with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and have reached a preliminary agreement on oil purchases from Iran, a senior energy official says.
According to NIOC director for international affairs Mohsen Qamsari, numerous talks have been held with a number of oil giants for sales of Iranian oil, including Japanese refiners.
“The process of negotiations with Total and Lukoil is being assessed as desirable and initial agreements have been reached with these two companies for sales of crude oil,” he said on Sunday.
Qamsari said Japanese companies are also seriously looking to raise oil imports from Iran which seeks to regain its 10% share of the market in the world’s fourth largest crude importer.
International companies are awaiting the removal of sanctions for a return to Iran.
Deputy Petroleum Minister Hossein Zamaninia said he expected the sanctions to be “fully” removed by the next two months, enabling domestic and foreign companies to “finalize their agreements for cooperation”.
Iran will be hosting international companies as well as economists at a conference in Tehran next month in order to unveil its new model of oil contracts.
Eni of Italy, Total, BP of the UK, Gazprom, Lukoil and Mitsubishi of Japan converged for the Iranian Petroleum and Energy Club Congress and Exhibition in Tehran last week, but Zamaninia cautioned not to read too much into the event.
“Prominent figures such as the bosses and executives of big oil companies attended this conference but it is still too early to say foreign firms have come to Iran since the US Treasury is threatening them over work and they don’t dare to have a presence in Iran,” he said.
Iran’s trade attractions, however, are too much to ignore.
“The world’s eyes are now set on the Iranian oil and gas industry,” Zamaninia said, adding with its enormous attractions, the sector will pave the way for an economic boom and have positive political effects as well.
The official said, “One of the Ministry of Petroleum’s conditions in the new contract is that, for access to Iran’s oil industry, international firms should partner a local company so that domestic empowerment takes shape along with investment.”
By Press TV