SHANA – What are the National Iranian Oil Company’s priorities in the calendar year of 1397, which began on March 21? Can the company’s achievements in the year be predicted? What matters will be prioritized over other issued during the year? How would senior NIOC executives respond to the question, “What are the most important programs that are being followed up in the year 97, or are they expecting to reach fruition in the year?”
Read the short answers of senior NIOC executives to these questions:
Oil and Financing
“What would you consider as the best thing that could happen to the National Iranian Oil Company in 1397?” I asked the CEO of NIOC, Ali Kardor, on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of the last contract he signed in the previous calendar year of 1396.
He said the elimination of financial constraints has been the company’s chief concern for quite a long while, and the best event in 1397 could be signing of several oil contracts and the achievement of NIOC development goals under the auspices of the newly-devised oil contract model to address some of the upstream problems in financing.
Kardor also underscored the need for financing such projects for reconstruction and renovation of old facilities, and said: “The industry, with more than 100 years of history, faces the wearing out and depreciation of facilities in many areas which can inflict irreparable damage to the sector. We hope that we will be able to enter this sector more seriously this year, pursuant to the instructions of the Petroleum Minister.”
The CEO further underlined empowerment of Iranian companies active in the oil industry. According to Kardor, favorable and long-term impact on the country’s economic indicators, especially GDP growth, will not be realized only through increased oil and gas production, but, alongside that, deepening of capabilities should also be focused upon; a necessity that will continue to be considered at the National Iranian Oil Company in the new year.
Increased production by relying on human resources
With 4 million barrels per day of crude oil and over 800 million cubic meters of gas production capacity, NIOC plays an central role in the energy sector in Iran and the region, and, undoubtedly, maintaining and increasing this production level is necessary and inevitable for the company to stay in international markets and in line with the country’s macro policies. I am confident that this will be also highlighted by NIOC’s Deputy Director General Mohsen Paknejad.
Speaking to me about this year’s priorities, he says ramping up the company’s production capacity is certainly a priority for NIOC in the New Year, adding, “Human capital is the pillar of production, so if we focus on production, we must exert efforts to boost the motivational factors of our colleagues, especially in the operational sectors. I hope that this year we will see the result of the efforts that have been put in this regard.”
He also cites the reduction of the frequency of operational accidents with the aim of protecting the health of their colleagues and protecting the facilities as other priorities of the National Iranian Oil Company in the New Year.
Last year, Iran’s oil industry went through three deadly incidents including sinking of Sanchi oil tanker, and the fire at Well 147 of Rag Sefid Oilfield, and also mourned the death of two employees at National Iranian Drilling Company in the first month of the New Year. Therefore, it is pretty much concerned about the health and welfare of its staff this year.
Reza Khalili, the deputy director of the non-industrial operations affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company, says “improved livelihoods of the staff with temporary contracts”, “employment of specialist personnel to compensate for retired forces,” and “full implementation of Article 10 of the Petroleum Ministry Obligations and Authority Act” as three main priorities for NIOC in 1397.
“As the Petroleum Minister has announced, God willing, we will see raises in the salaries and perks of the colleagues employed under temporary contracts from May,” he said.
The CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company has said signing of several development contracts in the New Year will be instrumental for the industry. Gholamreza Manouchehri, deputy NIOC director for Engineering and Development Affairs, had already introduced the year 97 as a busy year for the petroleum industry of Iran.
Likewise, Reza Dehghan, the director of coordination of oil and gas upstream contracts at NIOC, said: “Regardless of the future of Iran’s political interactions, oil negotiations are progressing at an acceptable pace and we expect to witness signature of several oil contracts this year.”
NIOC signed three upstream contracts in 96 for developing phase 11 of the South Pars gas field, Aban and West Paydar fields and Sepehr and Jofeir fields. The company is also preparing to strike more deals this year. Obviously, the assignment of underdeveloped fields and the increase in withdrawals from oil and gas fields, especially with the priority of joint fields, are at the heart of the company’s plans for the year.
Asked about NIOC’s priorities for the New Year, Mr. Manouchehri expressed optimism that the industry will witness a “boom in domestic manufacturing”, “circulation of capital” and “faster development of fields” in the New Year. He also underlined signature of upstream deals in the form of a newly-developed oil contract models and the implementation of production and maintenance packages that are to be put into operation in the form of EPC contracts.
The “boom in domestic manufacturing” comes from the fact that maintenance and production project packages will be presented to Iranian companies to carry out, and upstream contracts will be signed with exploration and production (E&P) companies this year.
Karim Zobeidi, the director of integrated planning at NIOC, has expressed hope that in the year 97, several upstream agreements will be signed, especially in the field of large fields such as Mansouri, Azadegan, Cheshmeh Khosh, etc.
On the other hand, Hamid Bovard, the CEO of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), referred to the plans for maintaining and increasing production at NIOC, and hoped that with the implementation of these work packages, preparations will be made to add 100 thousand barrels/day to IOOC’s daily output.
Bijan Alipour, the managing director of the National Iranian South Oil Company, commented on one of NIOC’s most important priorities in the year 97 to launch an outsourcing program for repairing and maintaining new production facilities to the domestic private sector and qualified local companies. “Given the fact that these projects will be entrusted to local companies, this will be very instrumental in generation of jobs in adjacent regions.”
In the development division of the National Iranian Oil Company, which has been doing well since the beginning of the 11th administration, with a focus on the West Karoon oil fields and South Pars, the work firmly continues. Mohammad Meshkinfam, the managing director of Pars Oil & Gas Co., said: “In 1397, phase 13 and phases 22 to 24 of South Pars, and all the platforms in Phase 14 will fully come online and all South Pars gas pipelines except Phase 11 will be complete.”
Sayed Nouraldin Shahnazizadeh, the director of the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), also mentioned the completion of plans and contracts for the development of West Karoon joint oil and gas fields as well as Azar Field as the main priority of the company.