US Oil, Gas Firms Better

US Oil, Gas Firms BetterUS Oil, Gas Firms Better

US oil and gas companies can offer Iran higher advantage compared with European firms due to their expertise and state-of-the-art technologies, oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.

Asked whether Iran would prefer to collaborate with US or European companies, the minister said: "Both. Any of them that come. Of course, Americans are higher in terms of technology. The Europeans don't have any particular advantage. But we are open for all."

International oil companies are keen to return quickly to Iran if sanctions are lifted, Zanganeh said, speaking to Platts as he flew back to Tehran after OPEC talks in Vienna on June 6. Oil companies from Europe and the United States would be welcome in Iran's upstream, he said adding that US companies would be particularly valued because of the superior technology they could bring.

The minister met with top oil company executives, including the CEOs of Shell, Total, Eni and Lukoil, on the sidelines of OPEC's international seminar, which preceded Friday's ministerial meeting. However, no meetings took place between Zanganeh and the heads of US majors ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, all of whom participated in the OPEC seminar.

"All of them say [they] will come quickly after the sanctions. They know the general framework of the new contract model," Zanganeh said, referring to a new upstream contract that will be launched later this year, possibly as soon as September, alongside an offering of projects.

"There are mostly the brown fields planned to be offered in September, like Gachsaran, Maroun, Bibi Hakimeh and Pazanan, for we stress and are interested in oil recovery," he added.

"We exchanged views about [oil recovery] projects with international oil companies and they had interest. Some were even familiar with our projects. Like Shell, which had worked for a long time on Agha Jari oilfield."