Iran expands co-op with major oil companies
By Nigar Abbasova
Energy-rich Iran, which is keen to regain its positions and recover its energy sector, hugely affected by the sanctions era, is now seeking to cooperate with major foreign companies.
The OMV group, an integrated international oil and gas company headquartered in Vienna, Austria received 1 million barrels of crude oil from Iran in a spot delivery at the Italian port of Trieste which the energy group will further send to its two refineries in Austria and Romania. The operation became the first delivery of Iran’s oil to the Austrian company since 2012, when sanctions were imposed on the country.
OMV has been present in Iran since 2001 when it implemented operations at the Mehr exploration basin in the western part of the country, which became the first contract of the company with Iran.
The Austrian Company earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) as it looked to revive its activities in Iran. The deal covered several areas ranging from oil and gas field evaluation to crude oil and petroleum product swaps.
Being the fourth country in the world for the volume of proven oil reserves, Iran was producing over 4 million barrels of oil per day before sanctions were ratcheted up in 2012. The country expanded its cooperation with foreign companies following lifting of sanctions, while production went from 2.8 mbd up to 3.5 mpd.
Two major Italian energy companies earlier signed the long-term contracts with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to import Iran's crude oil. Iran will export between 60,000 to 65,000 barrels of oil per day to the Saras SpA refineries, according to the contract.
Mohsen Qamsari, the director for international affairs of NIOC, earlier said that Iran signed agreements for the sale of crude oil with companies from Spain (Repsol) and Greece (Hellenic Petroleum), and negotiations with other major oil companies are underway. Moreover, NIOC is also planning to sign an agreement with the Swiss Vitol energy and commodities company on the sale of oil and gas condensate, Fars agency reported earlier.
Crude oil exports of Iran jumped 15 percent from July to more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in August.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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