Iran

Saudis Lose South Korean Market Share To Iran

South Korea doubled its imports of Iranian crude in January this year from the same time last year, when Iran returned on the international oil market and started exporting growing amounts of oil in a bid to regain market share lost to the Western sanctions. According to preliminary South Korean customs data reported by Reuters , the Asian country, which is also the world’s fifth-largest crude importer, last month imported 1.79 million tons of crude from Iran, which is equal to 424,143 bpd, compared to 859,223 tons in January 2016, when sanctions on Iran were lifted. This development takes market share away from Iran’s key rival, Saudi Arabia. South Korea’s imports of crude oil from Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia dropped by 17.3 percent in January compared to December 2016, to 785,084 bpd, as the Saudis are complying with the OPEC supply-deal cut. South Korea’s total crude oil imports […]

Trump rhetoric rattles Iranian business

10 Feb 2017   Iran

As soon as Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers took effect, Majid Zamani and his partners set up an investment boutique with the aim of tapping into the flood of foreign business they hoped would flow into the Islamic republic.Progress was initially sluggish as overseas investors took a cautious approach to Iran, yet Mr Zamani, a US-educated former World Bank consultant, remained confident about Kian Capital Management’s prospects. But the election of Donald Trump and his bellicose rhetoric towards Iran has triggered a surge of uncertainty and forced him and other Iranian businessmen to recalibrate their plans. They no longer expect the foreign investment to flow easily and instead are refocusing on their domestic market.

Iranian Oil Will Not Be Stopped By Trump

8 Feb 2017   Iran

Despite new sanctions by the Trump Administration and an escalating war of words regarding its ballistic missile program, Iran is continuing to push ahead with plans to maintain oil production at around 3.8 million bpd, the level agreed upon at the November OPEC meeting last year. In order to do so, Iran will need to attract billions in new investment, as its current production is based on aging fields and crumbling infrastructure. To maintain the current production level while continuing to export and meet domestic demand, Iran will need at least $100 billion in new investment. New U.S. sanctions, which target 25 Iranian individuals and entities said to be associated with the country’s missile program, is being touted as an “initial step” in the administration’s plan to push back hard on Iran’s regional ambitions, with National Security Advisor Michael Flynn announcing last week that the U.S. was “putting Iran […]

Iran’s missile test ‘not a message’ to Trump

7 Feb 2017   Iran

President.ir/Handout via Iran said on Monday a recent missile trial launch was not intended to send a message to new U.S. President Donald Trump and to test him, since after a series of policy statements Iranian officials already “know him quite well”. Iran test-fired a new ballistic missile last week, prompting Washington to impose some new sanctions on Tehran. Trump tweeted that Tehran, which has cut back its nuclear program under a 2015 deal with world powers easing economic sanctions, was “playing with fire”. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying: “Iran’s missile test was not a message to the new U.S. government. “There is no need to test Mr Trump as we have heard his views on different […]

Iran says U.S. sanctions stop American oil firms taking part in projects

7 Feb 2017   Iran

Iran has imposed no restrictions on U.S. oil firms willing to participate in energy projects in the country but American sanctions make such cooperation impossible, Iran’s deputy oil minister said on Monday. “Iran has not imposed any restrictions on the U.S. companies, but they cannot participate in our (oil and gas) tenders due to the U.S. laws,” Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. “Based on the U.S. Congress sanctions, the American oil companies cannot work in Iran,” he added. Iran said on Saturday that it will hold the country’s first tender in mid-February since the lifting of international sanctions to develop oil and natural gas fields. […]

Iran’s Oil Industry Unshaken By New Sanctions

7 Feb 2017   Iran

Days after Iran tested a ballistic missile in a northern desert, newly-inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on individuals associated with the program producing non-nuclear rockets capable of reaching Israel, as well as the United States. The new round of targeted measures will do little to affect Iran’s now-growing oil industry, which has reestablished its standing as the third-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) following its economic liberation. The missile test is at least the fifth of its kind since the Middle Eastern nation’s 2015 deal with a group of superpowers to provide international access to the country’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of crippling multilateral sanctions on its economy. Since January 14th, 2016 – when sanctions against its oil sector were lifted – Iran has defiantly rebuilt its lost oil output, at times at the expense of an OPEC agreement to […]

Iran Reports 15 Billion Barrel Oil Find

7 Feb 2017   Iran

Iran has struck new crude oil reserves totaling 15 billion barrels of which 2 billion barrels are recoverable, according to the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company Ali Kardor. Along with the crude, there were 1.8 trillion cu m of natural gas in the new deposits, details of whose location were not divulged. Half of this was recoverable, Kardor also said, as quoted by local media. The exploitation of these newly found reserves would require massive investments and modern technology, which Iran does not have at the moment. The discoveries are likely to lead to more tenders targeting international oil companies, which have the technology to tap them. This could turn tricky if the U.S. decides to impose more sanctions against Tehran, after last week the Trump administration slammed the country with fresh sanctions against individuals and entities linked to the special forces of Iran’s army, the […]

Iran says U.S. sanctions stop American oil firms taking part in projects

6 Feb 2017   Iran, USA

Iran has imposed no restrictions on U.S. oil firms willing to participate in energy projects in the country but American sanctions make such cooperation impossible, Iran’s deputy oil minister said on Monday. “Iran has not imposed any restrictions on the U.S. companies, but they cannot participate in our (oil and gas) tenders due to the U.S. laws,” Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. “Based on the U.S. Congress sanctions, the American oil companies cannot work in Iran,” he added. Iran said on Saturday that it will hold the country’s first tender in mid-February since the lifting of international sanctions to develop oil and natural gas fields. […]

Iran thumbs nose at Washington on oil

4 Feb 2017   Iran, USA

Iran is still able to get its crude oil to the international market and increase production despite souring U.S. relations, an Iranian official said Friday. The White House is expected to hit Iran with new sanctions in response to a recent missile test after putting Tehran “on notice” earlier this week . Iran secured relief from some Western sanctions in early 2016 after the United Nations confirmed compliance with a multilateral deal that scaled back Tehran’s nuclear research program. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Iran’s Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, said Iran was still secured by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear agreement is called. “Despite enemies’ economic war against Iran, we were able to increase oil export from 1 […]

Iran Oil Minister Says “No Ban on U.S. Oil Firms”

1 Feb 2017   Iran

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has said that U.S. oil companies willing to do business in Iran will not be banned from doing so. The remark, quoted by local and international media, comes on the heels of a Friday executive order signed by Donald Trump that suspended the visa processing and entry into the U.S. of people from seven Muslim-majority states: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The suspension order will be in effect for three months when it concerns entry into the country. When it concerns the resettlement of refugees from these states, bar Syria, it will be in effect for four months. Refugees from Syria are banned from resettlement in the U.S. indefinitely. The order also covers legal residents of the U.S. who are citizens of any of the seven countries, so if they leave, they won’t be allowed to come back for the duration […]

Is Iran Planning On Breaking Its OPEC Pledge?

1 Feb 2017   Iran

According to a provision of the recent OPEC production deal , the Islamic Republic of Iran is mandated to keep production below a threshold of 3.797 million bpd. Yet this figure is below the regime’s desired long-term goal of 4 million bpd, the level Iran once produced at before sanctions were imposed in 2012. That goal now looks within reach, as Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told the press after an Iranian cabinet meeting that crude production had reached 3.9 million bpd . The increase came as Iran restores links with energy markets in Asia and Europe, and is the culmination of a year-long effort to boost production since sanctions on the country’s energy industry ended last January. Does this mean Iran plans to break the rules of the OPEC cut and push to 4 million bpd all year long? It’s possible that the country’s bullish oil administration, led by […]

Lukoil Seeks Middle East Oil Projects for Growth as Iran Opens

30 Jan 2017   Iran, Russia

Lukoil PJSC is seeking opportunities for growth in the Middle East as Iran opens more of its oil fields to international partners, according to the Russian energy company’s regional head. The Moscow-based company plans to add output from the region to existing operations in Iraq and Egypt as long as it finds projects with production costs as low as those in Russia, Gati Al-Jebouri, Lukoil’s head of upstream for the Middle East, told reporters in Dubai. “Iran is our target area at the moment,” Al-Jebouri said. Lukoil is in talks with National Iranian Oil Co. , the Persian Gulf country’s state producer, about the Ab Teymour and Mansouri oil fields in western Iran, he said. Al-Jebouri said he hoped the companies could agree on a common development program for the fields in the first half of the year before proceeding to commercial negotiations and a partnership. Iran has outlined […]

Russia’s Lukoil hopes for Iran oilfield development decision this year

30 Jan 2017   Iran, Russia

Lukoil, Russia’s No.2 oil producer, hopes to reach a decision on developing two new oilfields in Iran and wants to expand its operations further in the Middle East this year, a senior executive said on Sunday. Lukoil is talking with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on taking part in development of the Abe Timur and Mansuri fields in central-western Iran, said Gati al-Jebouri, vice president and head of upstream operations in the Middle East. “We are in active discussions with them with respect to budget cost structure, and subsequently we will start negotiations on contractual terms if the development plans that we proposed are accepted and agreed by the Iranian party,” Jebouri told reporters on Sunday. […]

Iran May Cancel $7B Pipeline Project With Pakistan

28 Jan 2017   Iran, Pipelines

Iran has said it may cancel its high-profile, US$7-billion ‘peace pipeline’ project with Pakistan over lengthy construction delays, with would deprive energy-starved Pakistan of the some 22 million cubic meters of gas a day it would have received from its neighbor. If negotiations fail to come up with a way to feasibly realize the project, Iran’s National Gas Company Head Hamid Reza Araqi said on Friday that the project could be cancelled entirely. The project has already undergone 15 years of negotiations, beginning as the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. Pakistan and Iran finally signed the initial agreement in 2009 , while India withdrew from the deal. The deal was signed by Pakistani President Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. In accordance with this deal, Iran was to provide 22 million cubic meters per day of gas. Pakistan was slated to begin importing Iranian gas imports in early 2015 , […]

Iran To Export More Oil In February

28 Jan 2017   Iran

Iran’s crude oil and gas condensate exports are expected to rise to about 2.2 million barrels per day in February, thanks to a shipment to Indonesia – the first since sanctions against Tehran were lifted last year. That’s according to an unnamed source that spoke to Reuters. This month, Iran is set to export some 2.16 million bpd. Post-sanction exports reached a high of almost 2.6 million barrels last September, Reuters notes, and this amount has not yet been exceeded. According to figures from Iran’s Oil Ministry, oil exports between March and December 2016 averaged 2.57 million bpd, with the December rate rising to 2.83 million bpd. These figures, however, have not been confirmed by external sources. Earlier this month, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that earnings from oil and condensate exports had reached US$29 billion in all of 2016, of which US$24.7 billion has been received. What’s more, […]

Europe Chomps Most Iran Oil in Years With Supertankers Due in Days

26 Jan 2017   Europe, Iran

Europe is poised to receive the most Iranian crude in about five years this month in a sign that the Persian Gulf nation may be regaining its share of a market it had lost to sanctions. Arrivals on supertankers will reach 622,581 barrels a day in January, the biggest flows for a single month since at least November 2011, according to ship-tracking and European Union data compiled by Bloomberg. Two Iranian supertankers — Huge and Snow — are en route, bringing about 4 million barrels between them. Sanctions halted all deliveries back in 2012 and they only restarted early last year as the measures were eased. “Iran’s been trying to regain their traditional clients — in countries like Greece and Italy — as a priority,” said Robin Mills, chief executive officer of Dubai-based consultant Qamar Energy, who tracks the nation’s oil trade. “Beyond that, it’s an opportunistic push to […]

Cash Strapped Iranian Oil Industry Braces For Trump Impact

25 Jan 2017   Iran

Iran has been raising eyebrows with its unwavering determination to put its energy industry back on its feet since most Western sanctions against Tehran were lifted last year, and its progress so far is considerable. The news from the last two weeks alone include crude oil output close to 4 million barrels daily ; the National Iranian Oil Company shortlisting 29 foreign companies to take part in oil and gas tenders to take place later this quarter; and the National Iranian Gas Company announcing it wants to build a US$2.5-billion trunk gas pipeline, in partnership with Russian energy firms. Also since the start of January, an insurance business group announced that it has found a way around the remaining U.S. sanctions against Iran, and will now offer almost full coverage for export-bound Iranian crude shipments, excluding U.S.-based sector players. This will help Iran further boost its oil exports and […]

China To Pour $3 Billion in Iran’s Refining Capacity

20 Jan 2017   Iran

China will invest US$3 billion in the upgrade of Iran’s oil refining facilities, Iranian media reported, with the bulk of the investment going into the Abadan refinery. According to Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Kazemi, China has already “opened the financing” for the refinery’s upgrade. Iran’s oil and gas infrastructure has suffered the results of years of neglect because of insufficient maintenance funds during the sanction years as well as access to new technology and equipment. Last week China’s statistical bureau reported that the country’s crude oil imports had increased to 64.4 percent of domestic demand and this is expected to continue, with imports rising by a total 17 percent in the period 2015-2020, with domestic output falling by 7 percent in the period, according to the National Development and Reform Commission. With demand set to rise by 8 percent in the five-year period, the financial commitment in Iran could […]

Exclusive – Global ship insurers to resume near full coverage for Iran oil: officials

17 Jan 2017   Iran

Global shipping insurers have devised a way to ensure nearly full coverage for Iranian oil exports from next month after striking a deal to provide cover without involving U.S.-domiciled reinsurers, officials in Tokyo and London said. The reluctance of U.S. firms to handle Iranian goods had greatly limited the number of reinsurers of cargoes, but the new arrangements – which essentially allow re-insurance of ships without the involvement of U.S.-firms – should boost the number of eligible shipments. That will provide a boon to Iran, trying to raise oil exports after most sanctions were lifted last year, though banking restrictions that remain in place that could cap any major rise in exports. “There will be no U.S.-domiciled reinsurer participation on the 2017 […]

Iran oil minister certain that oil prices will rise: Mehr

16 Jan 2017   Iran

 Iran’s oil minister said that he was confident the OPEC and non-OPEC members would commit to the output cut deal agreed in November, noting that prices of oil would rise further as a result. “I am certain that the OPEC and non-OPEC members will cut oil output as committed. This will remove the oil surplus from the market, balance the demand and supply, and lift prices,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed on Nov. 30 to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to 32.5 million bpd for the first six months of 2017, in addition to 558,000 bpd of cuts agreed to by independent producers such as Russia, Oman and […]

Iran Oil Minister Certain That Oil Prices Will Rise

16 Jan 2017   Iran

Iran’s oil minister said that he was confident the OPEC and non-OPEC members would commit to the output cut deal agreed in November, noting that prices of oil would rise further as a result. DUBAI, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Iran’s oil minister said that he was confident the OPEC and non-OPEC members would commit to the output cut deal agreed in November, noting that prices of oil would rise further as a result. “I am certain that the OPEC and non-OPEC members will cut oil output as committed. This will remove the oil surplus from the market, balance the demand and supply, and lift prices,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed on Nov. 30 to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to 32.5 million bpd for the first six months of 2017, in addition […]

Iran Close To Hitting 4-Million-Bpd Output Target

11 Jan 2017   Iran

When Saudi Arabia initiated the latest OPEC discussion about an oil production cut, Iran insisted that it would only consider joining market rebalancing efforts when it reached a daily output target of 4 million barrels. Now, it is close to hitting the mark, pumping 3.9 million barrels of crude daily, according to a senior official from the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company. After it made sure it was granted an exemption from the OPEC cut agreement, Tehran has not wasted any time marching onwards to revive its energy industry. At the start of the year, NIOC issued a list of 29 foreign companies that were picked to explore and exploit its oil and gas reserves. The list was notably dominated by Asian E&Ps, including four Chinese companies and five Japanese ones. The domination of Chinese and Japanese companies on the list is understandable, as is the reluctance of U.S. […]

Exclusive: Iran capitalizes on OPEC oil cut to sell millions of barrels – sources

7 Jan 2017   Iran

Iran has sold more than 13 million barrels of oil that it had long held on tankers at sea, capitalizing on an OPEC output cut deal from which it is exempted to regain market share and court new buyers, according to industry sources and data. In the past three months, Tehran has sold almost half the oil it had held in floating storage, which had tied up many of its tankers as it struggled to offload stocks in an oversupplied global market. The amount of Iranian oil held at sea has dropped to 16.4 million barrels, from 29.6 million barrels at the beginning of October, according to Thomson Reuters Oil Flows data. Before that sharp drop, the level had barely changed in […]

Total, Shell, Eni Eligible to Bid for New Iran Oil, Gas Projects

4 Jan 2017   Iran

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) revealed that several European oil and gas companies will be eligible to bid for the country’s new oil and gas projects. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) revealed Tuesday that several European oil and gas companies will be eligible to bid for the country’s new oil and gas projects. The list of energy firms included European majors such as Total S.A, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Eni S.p.A and Gazprom. A number of ‘major newcomers’, as described by the NIOC, were Wintershall from Germany, Maersk from Finland, DNO from Norway and CEPSA from Spain. Britain’s BP plc and Norway’s Statoil ASA did not appear on the list of included energy companies. Iran plans to award new projects to the companies it has qualified through a new format of oil sector contracts. As part of this new system, NIOC will set up joint ventures for […]

Iran Qualifies CNPC to Total for Bidding on Energy Projects

3 Jan 2017   Iran

Iran qualified 29 international oil companies to bid in upcoming tenders for crude and natural gas development projects as the Persian Gulf state seeks investment in energy. China National Petroleum Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA are among the companies that will be invited to bid in tenders, according to a list published Monday on the website of state producer National Iranian Oil Co. Total, along with Lukoil PJSC and the oil unit of Gazprom PJSC , are some of the companies on the list that have already signed preliminary agreements with Iran to study oil fields for potential future development. Iran aims to attract more than $100 billion in foreign investment to speed growth in its energy industry after sanctions cut international companies’ involvement in developing the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves. Since sanctions eased in January, the Persian Gulf producer has doubled exports as crude prices […]

Asia’s November imports of Iranian oil more than double from year ago

29 Dec 2016   Iran

Imports of crude oil by Iran’s four major buyers in Asia in November more than doubled for a second straight month from a year ago, with purchases by India and South Korea more than four times higher. Iran’s top four Asian buyers – China, India, South Korea and Japan – imported 1.94 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up 117 percent on a year earlier, government and ship-tracking data showed. That was just short of the 2016 peak of 1.99 million bpd hit in the previous month, which was the highest since at least 2010, according to data by International Energy Agency. The volumes were in line with the OPEC member’s crude oil and condensate export plans. Iran was exempted from […]

Iran: There are no guarantees with OPEC

29 Dec 2016   Iran, OPEC

Following an announcement regarding an increase in oil production, Iran’s oil minister said there are no guarantees an OPEC production ceiling will be enforced. Iran is the only party not obligated to a production cut under a late November decision from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Under the terms of the deal, Iran can produce around 3.8 million barrels per day. Iran lobbied that it needed freedom to regain a market share lost to international economic sanctions imposed in response to its controversial nuclear program. A multilateral agreement last year eased sanctions on Iran after it agreed to scale back the program. By his account, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said that, in terms of the OPEC agreement, most deals have fallen short of design. “Though there is no guarantee that OPEC decisions will be enforced,” he was quoted as saying by the […]

Iran sees foreign investors flocking to energy sector

28 Dec 2016   Iran

Iran is drawing in more foreign investors eager to renew work in the energy sector because of the low cost of doing business, a corporate director said. The National Iranian Oil Co. said it expects to award roughly a dozen new agreements for oil and gas developments as the appetite grows for working in Iran’s oil and gas sector. Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, a managing director for the NIOC, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency international energy companies have more motivation for engagement as sanctions pressures ease. “The costs of producing oil and gas in Iran are very low compared to other countries,” he added. Iran under the terms of a production agreement from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries can keep working to regain its market share, while other producers are expected to make cuts. The government aims to draw new investors […]

Iran says it sealed Boeing plane deal at half price

26 Dec 2016   Iran, USA

Iran said on Sunday it had negotiated to pay only about half the announced price for 80 new Boeing ( BA.N ) airliners in an order that the American planemaker had said was worth $16.6 billion. Boeing and its European rival Airbus ( AIR.PA ) have both signed huge contracts this month to supply airliners to Iran, the first such deals since international sanctions were lifted under a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program. Replacing Iran’s antiquated civil aviation fleet is one of the biggest economic opportunities of the 2015 accord to lift sanctions, which was negotiated by the outgoing administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. President elect Donald Trump is a vocal critic of the pact. Despite Iran’s great need for new planes to replace those from the sanctions era, it has entered the market at a time when Boeing, Airbus and smaller planemakers have all faced a […]

Airbus Finalizes $18 Billion Jet Deal With Iran

23 Dec 2016   Iran

European plane maker Airbus Group SE on Thursday said it had finalized a controversial deal to sell more than $18 billion worth of jetliners to Iran less than two weeks after rival Boeing Co. inked a similar accord. The blockbuster contracts are among the highest profile deals western companies have signed with Iran after world powers lifted sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. The plane deals have become a magnet for U.S. critics of closer ties with Iran. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the run-up to election voiced concerns about improving ties with Iran, though hasn’t weighed in significantly since his Nov. 8 election. Airbus, the world’s No. 2 jet maker behind Boeing, said it would sell 100 planes to Iran Air, the country’s flag carrier. The deal includes 46 single-aisle A320 planes, as well as 38 A330 and 16 A350 long-haul […]

EU warns Trump not to destroy Iran nuclear deal

22 Dec 2016   Iran

European governments are quietly warning the incoming Trump administration that the US will get the blame if any new economic sanctionson Iran lead to the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal.  European officials have told the Trump team and Republicans in Congress that there would be little appetite within the EU for a new campaign of international pressure on Iran if the US took steps that precipitated the end of the agreement.  The warnings underline the potential for the Iran deal to become a sharp point of contention between the Trump administration and its western European allies. France, Germany and the UK were all involved in the negotiations, which saw Iran receive sanctions relief in return for limitations on its nuclear programme.

President-elect Donald Trump has been sharply critical of the nuclear agreement, calling it “the worst deal in history”, although he has said little about how he will approach the issue once he takes over the White House.  At the same time, leading Republicans in Congress have said they will push a series of new sanctions bills next year which would impose penalties on Iran over its ballistic missile programme, its support of terrorism or its human rights record. At least some of the proposals will have bipartisan support.  However, Iran views new sanctions as a breach of the nuclear agreement and European governments are worried that new US steps could lead to the deal disintegrating.  “If there is some sort of major provocation from the Iranians, then we might be able to get behind new sanctions,” said one senior European official. “But if new American sanctions cause the deal to collapse, then most people in Europe will say it is the Americans’ fault.”

Iran’s OPEC Win Lacks Substance Without Real Deals With Big Oil

20 Dec 2016   Iran

Few countries have benefited from the oil market’s 2016 recovery like Iran. Since sanctions on its economy were eased in January, the Persian Gulf producer has doubled exports as prices rallied and won approval from OPEC last month to pump even more while other members cut. The key to continued growth will be attracting foreign investment to the energy industry. “Iran is definitely better off than they started the year,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “Further expansion plans for production have reached a plateau. They need foreign investment.” While most Gulf nations struggled with lower oil revenue after prices plunged to less than half of their 2014 levels, Iran, with a population about three times larger than Saudi Arabia’s and an economy less dependent on crude, accelerated its growth. To keep up the momentum, Iran is trying — so far with limited success — […]

IAEA content with oil-rich Iran

20 Dec 2016   Iran

The director-general of the nuclear watchdog for the United Nations said oil-rich Iran is meeting its commitments to downplay weapons concerns. Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spent the weekend in Tehran discussing the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a multi-lateral agreement that commits Iran to stepping away from the ability to produce a nuclear weapon. The deal, implemented in early 2016, means some of the nuclear-related sanctions imposed by Western powers have eased and opened the door to Iran’s fossil fuels industry. Amano was quoted by Iran’s state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying his agency was “satisfied” with Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA. “The director general reiterated that the JCPOA is a net gain from a verification point of view,” the IAEA’s account read. “For the future, Amano stressed the vital importance of full implementation […]

Iran to work on nuclear-powered boats after U.S. ‘violation’ of deal

14 Dec 2016   Iran

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani ordered scientists on Tuesday to start developing systems for nuclear-powered boats, in reaction to what he called the United States’ violation of a global atomic deal. The announcement marked Iran’s first concrete response to a U.S. Congress decision last month to extend legislation making it easier for Washington to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Rouhani described the technology as a “nuclear propeller to be used in marine transportation,” but did not say whether that meant just ships or possibly also submarines. Iran said in 2012 that it was working on its first nuclear-powered sub. reut.rs/2gVr80g His words will stoke tensions with Washington, already heightened by comments from U.S. president elect Donald Trump who has vowed to scrap the deal, […]

Gazprom Neft Signs Oil Deal as Russia Adds to Presence in Iran

14 Dec 2016   Iran, Russia

Gazprom Neft PJSC signed an agreement with Iran’s state oil company to study the potential for oil production from two fields, becoming at least the third Russian energy producer in the Persian Gulf nation. Gazprom joins Lukoil PJSC and Zarubrezhneft OAO in Russia, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Tehran at the signing ceremony. Salbali Karimi, managing director of the Iranian Central Oil Fields Co., and Alexander Dyukov, chairman of the management board and chief executive officer of Gazprom Neft, signed the memorandum of understanding. Gazprom will study the potential of Iranian oil fields Cheshmeh-Khosh and Changuleh, according to a poster at the ceremony. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA have also signed initial agreements with Iran since sanctions were lifted in January. Iran dramatically boosted crude sales in 2016 after they were curbed for years by sanctions over its nuclear program. Under a deal for […]

Russia to study Iranian oil fields

14 Dec 2016   Iran, Russia

Iran and Russia tightened their embrace in the energy sector through an agreement to study the prospects for oil fields near the Iraqi border, directors said. Directors from the National Iranian Oil Co. and Gazprom Neft , the oil division of Russian energy company Gazprom, met in Tehran for the signing of agreements to study two oil fields in the Iranian border with Iraq. “Changuleh – which sits on Iran’s border with Iraq – is already proving to have become one of Iran’s emerging top oil project prizes,” Iran’s state-funded broadcaster Press TV reported . Iran is working to bring foreign investors back to an energy sector previously shuttered by sanctions imposed for its controversial nuclear sector. Iran and Russia have established energy ties, with the latter supplying some of the fuel needed to power the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran. Norwegian oil […]

Iranian President Orders Development of Nuclear-Powered Ships

14 Dec 2016   Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday ordered the development of a nuclear propulsion system for ships, describing the move as a response to the recent extension of sanctions against the Islamic Republic by U.S. Congress. Mr. Rouhani also requested a study of fuel production for the propulsion system and set a three-month deadline for a progress report on both steps, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said. The agency didn’t indicate whether Iranian naval vessels would be outfitted with the system or say what grade of uranium would be used to fuel it. It said only that Mr. Rouhani had directed technical work on the system to proceed. On its own, Iran’s study of such a propulsion system doesn’t appear to violate the landmark nuclear accord reached between Tehran and the U.S. and five […]

Iran crude oil exports to hit five-month low in December: source

14 Dec 2016   Iran

Iran’s crude oil exports in December are set to fall 8 percent from November to a five-month low, a source with knowledge of its preliminary tanker schedule said, as lower shipments to China and others in Asia offset bumper exports to Europe. Iran was exempted from last month’s OPEC deal to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) starting from January, and had been expected to boost its output slightly. But Iran’s December crude exports excluding condensate are set to fall to 1.88 million bpd, from 2.04 million bpd in November, the source familiar with its export situation said. That may be a sign it is having trouble maintaining output after the lifting of sanctions this year led to a surge in production. Exemption from the deal agreed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was a victory for Tehran, which has argued it needs […]

Gazprom Neft Signs Oil Deal as Russia Adds to Presence in Iran

13 Dec 2016   Iran, Russia

Gazprom Neft PJSC signed an agreement with Iran’s state oil company to study the potential for oil production from two fields, becoming at least the third Russian energy producer in the Persian Gulf nation. Gazprom joins Lukoil PJSC and Zarubrezhneft OAO in Russia, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Tehran at the signing ceremony. Salbali Karimi, managing director of the Iranian Central Oil Fields Co., and Alexander Dyukov, chairman of the management board and chief executive officer of Gazprom Neft, signed the memorandum of understanding. Gazprom will study the potential of Iranian oil fields Cheshmeh-Khosh and Changuleh, according to a poster at the ceremony. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA have also signed initial agreements with Iran since sanctions were lifted in January. Iran dramatically boosted crude sales in 2016 after they were curbed for years by sanctions over its nuclear program. Under a deal for […]

Iran seals $17 billion Boeing deal, close to Airbus order

12 Dec 2016   Iran

Redmond Iran signed a $16.6 billion deal for 80 Boeing ( BA.N ) passenger jets on Sunday and was said to be close to another for dozens of Airbus ( AIR.PA ) planes to complete what would be the biggest package of firm contracts with Western companies since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. The deal between IranAir and U.S. planemaker Boeing includes 50 narrow-body 737 MAX aircraft and 30 long-haul 777s, split equally between the 777-300ER, which is badly in need of an order boost, and the 406-seat 777-9, which is under development. An Iranian official told Reuters that IranAir was also at the “very final stage” of formalizing a deal with Europe’s Airbus, which led Western companies back into Iran with a provisional agreement […]

Boeing inks $16.6bn deal with Iran’s national carrier

12 Dec 2016   Iran

Iran’s national carrier and Boeing have finalised their $16.6bn deal for the sale of 80 aircraft to the Islamic Republic’s airlines, paving the way for Iran Air to sign its $25bn deal to buy 118 jets from Airbus.  The signing of the Boeing contract marks the first multibillion-dollar contract with a US company since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.  The deal comes at a sensitive time when many politicians and business people in Tehran and western capitals expect Mr Trump to roll back some parts of the agreement that lifted certain sanctions. During his controversial campaign, Mr Trump pledged to “dismantle” or at least restructure the nuclear deal reached between Iran and six world powers last year.

“Today is a historic day . . . that after 41 years, Iran Air and Boeing ink this deal,” said Abbas Akhoundi, Iran’s minister of transportation at the ceremony. “It has a clear message for the world . . . by which businessmen are telling the world that they support peace, calm and development of humanitarian affairs.”  Airbus and Tehran have also reached a provisional agreement on the sale of 118 aircraft, worth an estimated $25bn at list prices.  “The contract with Airbus will be finalised, too, very soon,” said an Iranian official. Airbus refused to comment. “We do not comment on our confidential talks with customers,” it said.

Iran Races to Clinch Oil Deals Before Donald Trump Takes Office

9 Dec 2016   Iran

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is racing to sign as many oil deals with Western companies as he can before hard-liners at home and President-elect Donald J. Trump have a chance to return the Mideast country to cultural and economic isolation. At the same time, Iran is in a battle with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC producers to reclaim its position as one of the world’s leading oil exporters, a spot it lost during the years of international sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program . Iran’s oil industry, the lifeblood of its economy, was devastated by the cumulative impact of the nuclear sanctions, which halved petroleum exports and left the country ostracized economically. The international nuclear agreement that lifted those sanctions nearly a year ago , one of the Obama administration’s signature foreign policy initiatives, has enabled Iran to partly recover. But Mr. Trump has warned that he […]

Shell Signs Preliminary Iran Oil Deal Despite Uncertainty Over Trump

8 Dec 2016   Iran

Shell said it had signed a preliminary deal with Iran’s state oil company. Above, Shell… LONDON— Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Wednesday said it had signed an agreement with Iran’s state oil company to explore future projects, signaling that giant energy companies are unlikely to be deterred by President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to undo the Iran nuclear deal . Shell is the largest company to wade back into Iran since the U.S. and other world powers lifted sanctions in January in exchange for Tehran putting strict limits on its nuclear program. The British-Dutch firm follows France’s Total SA, which last month signed a $4.8 billion deal to develop a large natural-gas field in Iran and now is negotiating an oil deal. Wednesday’s agreement could help open a new chapter in the turbulent history of Iran’s oil sector, which has been marked by waves of nationalizations and successive sanctions. Shell […]

Iran anticipates arrival of European energy representatives

8 Dec 2016   Iran

Iranian media reported Wednesday a delegation from Austrian energy company OMV is en route to Tehran to explore stronger energy ties with the Islamic republic. “An energy committee between Iran and Austria is being held in order for the two countries to assess the road map to mutual cooperation in energy and economic fields,” the oil ministry’s news website SHANA reported . OMV was among the first to sign agreements with Iran this year in a step toward resuming formal operations in the oil- and gas-rich member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Sanctions pressures on Iran started easing in January after the United Nations confirmed compliance with a multilateral nuclear agreement brokered last year. European sanctions are easing faster than those enacted by the United States, though some sanctions that remain in place make it difficult to do business with Iran. SHANA […]

Shell and Total Said to Sign Initial Oil Deals With Iran

7 Dec 2016   Iran

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA will sign initial agreements on Wednesday to develop oil and gas fields in Iran, in the first European petroleum deals in the Persian Gulf country since sanctions eased earlier this year, an Oil Ministry official said. The companies will sign “heads of agreement,” or non-binding accords, with the ministry to develop the South Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields and the Kish natural gas deposit, the official said, asking not to be named as he is not authorized to brief the media. He didn’t say which company would develop which of the fields. The deals will be the first signed by European companies to develop Iran’s oil fields since sanctions were loosened in January under a deal to curb the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program. Paris-based Total signed a $4.8 […]

Iran says it can sell as much oil as it wants

7 Dec 2016   Iran

Iran can sell as much crude oil as it wants to thanks in part to a multilateral nuclear agreement that eased crippling sanctions, the country’s president said. Iran has been opening its economic doors to potential investors after so-called Implementation Day, when the country was verified as meeting the terms of a U.N.-backed nuclear agreement, passed in January. The Central Bank of Iran said it could work with European partners after bank restrictions were lifted. Oilfield services company Schlumberger, which has its main offices in the United States, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with an Iranian oil company for data-sharing. Early 2016 analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found sanctions relief could lead to an increase in Iranian crude oil production and exports. Holding steady at around 2.8 million barrels per day under sanctions, Iran’s output could increase about 10 percent for […]

Iran’s President Says Donald Trump Can’t Tear Up Nuclear Pact

7 Dec 2016   Iran

 Iran ’s president said on Tuesday that he simply would not allow President-elect Donald J. Trump to tear up last year’s nuclear agreement and warned of unspecified consequences if he did. “He wants to do many things,” Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said of Mr. Trump in a speech. During the campaign, Mr. Trump called the nuclear agreement “a bad deal” that he promised to “tear up.” “He wants to undermine the J.C.P.O.A.,” Mr. Rouhani said, referring to the agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action . “He wants to tear up the J.C.P.O.A. Will we or our nation allow this?” As Mr. Rouhani posed the question, the audience began chanting, “Death to America.” In the speech, which was delivered at Tehran University and televised nationally, Mr. Rouhani maintained that “America cannot influence our determination, this nation’s resistance and its struggle.” He continued: “America is our enemy; we […]

Shell to sign three deals to develop Iran oil and gas fields: Iran oil ministry

7 Dec 2016   Iran

Royal Dutch Shell will sign three initial agreements on Wednesday to develop Iranian oil and gas fields, an Iranian oil ministry official said. Shell will sign the agreements in Tehran to develop the South Azadegan, Yadavaran oilfields and the Kish gas field, the Iranian official said. Total will start negotiations for new oil and gas projects but was not signing any deals on Wednesday, the official said. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that both Shell and Total were to sign initial agreements on Wednesday. Shell and Total declined to comment. (Reporting by Rania El Gamal. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Iranian MPs declared victory with OPEC deal

6 Dec 2016   Iran

Members of the Iranian parliament said Monday they signed a letter of appreciation that, in effect, declared victory with last week’s OPEC production deal. Iran under the terms of an agreement signed last week in Vienna will cap oil production at 3.79 million barrels per day. That’s 123,000 bpd less than what the government reported to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in October, but 107,000 bpd less than reported by secondary sources. Of the countries agreeing to limits, Iran is the only one that has room for more production. Saudi Arabia, one of Iran’s main adversaries, cuts the most by volume with 486,000 bpd starting in January. Members of the Iranian parliament on Monday signed a letter of appreciation, with the official Islamic Republic […]

Iran’s Rouhani says will not let Trump rip up nuclear deal

6 Dec 2016   Iran

Iran will not let U.S. President-elect Donald Trump rip up the nuclear deal it signed with world powers, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday. “[Trump] wants to do many things, but none of his actions would affect us … Do you think the United States can rip up the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal)? Do you think we and our nation will let him do that?” Rouhani said in a speech at University of Tehran broadcast live on state television. (Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin)