Shell Holds Talks in Iran

Shell Holds Talks in IranShell Holds Talks in Iran

Royal Dutch Shell has recently held talks in Iran to discuss business cooperation with the oil and gas-rich country should international sanctions on Tehran become history.

Officials from the Anglo-Dutch company major recently met Iranian officials in Tehran, a Shell spokesman said, Reuters reported.

The two sides discussed Shell's outstanding debt to National Iranian Oil Company for crude lifted but not paid for, and potential areas of business cooperation should sanctions be lifted, the spokesman said.

Shell has around $2 billion in outstanding debt to the Islamic Republic as a result of Iranian oil deliveries which Shell had been unable to pay due to sanctions.

Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden discussed the debt issue earlier this month on the sidelines of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, the spokesman said.

Major powers, Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States, are hoping to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program by June 30 that could lead to the easing of sanctions on Iran's oil industry.

Western sanctions have cut Iran's oil exports by more than half to around 1.1 million bpd from a pre-2012 level of 2.5 million bpd, with the loss of oil income making it difficult to invest in new development and pay for the equipment and services needed to keep its production operating smoothly.