US Oil Officials Due

US Oil Officials DueUS Oil Officials Due

An American delegation will arrive in Tehran next week to hold meetings with Iranian oil officials and manufacturers, Mehr news agency reported.

The delegation will enquire into investment opportunities in Iran's oil and gas industry and will also assess prospect cooperation with Iranian manufacturers and contractors. Confirming the arrival of the US delegation, deputy oil minister Abbas Shari-Moghaddam said in the wake of the delegation's upcoming visit major American oil and gas companies are expected to return to Iran once sanctions are lifted.

Several European-American companies have also expressed readiness to invest in Iran's new petrochemical projects, Shari-Moghaddam said without providing details. There is no legal restriction on foreign investment in Iran, he noted, adding that in order to commence operation in Iran foreign firms are first required to establish an Iranian company whose activities are restricted by no means.

Meanwhile, managing director of the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) Abdolreza Haji Hossein-Nejad said Italian Energy Giant Eni has discussed oil cooperation with Iran during recent talks they held with oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Tehran which prohibit Americans from trading directly or indirectly with Iran's oil sector, government or individuals connected to the sector, including any financing. US companies are also prevented from investing in Iran's oil and gas industries or trading with them.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union on Iran since 2012 have led to the gradual departure of major Western oil companies from Iran.

A tentative deal between Iran and the powers was reached in Switzerland on April 2 that cleared the way for a final settlement on June 30, in which Tehran would agree to restrict sensitive nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief. In 2013, Zanganeh said even Western companies were welcome to return to Iran to explore oil after international sanctions are lifted, including the US majors ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.