BP Vying for Oil, Gas Deals

BP Vying for Oil, Gas DealsBP Vying for Oil, Gas Deals

British oil and gas major BP confirmed it sent a team of managers to Iran in September to secure a place in the country's lucrative oil and gas market following the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, a spokesperson said.

“BP has met with oil industry officials … The details of those discussions are confidential. We have said for some time that we would be interested in reviewing opportunities in Iran once sanctions permit it," The Times quoted the unnamed BP spokesperson as saying.

"We are fully in compliance with the current sanctions in place,” the report added. Iran has some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, which can be accessed at a relatively cheap cost. The Iranian oil industry was nationalized in the late 1970s, ending BP’s involvement in production from Iran.

The BP and the new UK delegation currently in Tehran are the latest European missions to arrive in the capital to explore grounds for cooperation. Tehran has hosted top trade delegations from Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, France and Germany in the past few weeks, preparing multibillion-dollar agreements in economic and energy sectors for the post-sanctions period.

  Shell, Total to Build Gas Stations

The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas firm Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total each get to build 100 gas stations in Iran, head of the Iranian Syndicate of Gas Station Owners said on Friday.

"Shell and Total are given the green light to establish a total of 200 gas stations in the capital Tehran and other cities," Bijan Haj-Mohammadreza was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

The announcement comes as a 30-member delegation of UK businesses reportedly arrived in Tehran on Friday for a four-day visit to explore areas of cooperation with Iran while introducing their services and products to Iranian firms.

The entry of Shell and Total is part of efforts to help commercialize the supply and distribution of petroleum products and reduce government monopoly in energy retail.

A Shell spokesman told The Guardian that it was unaware of any further developments in Iran.

“We have not sought, or been granted, any licenses to operate retail sites in Iran. We remain in full compliance with all international sanctions,” Shell said.

Iran and six world powers reached a historic deal on July 14 in Vienna that would limit the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting curbs on its energy and financial industries. Haj-Mohammadreza said the syndicate and the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company have reached an agreement to lease or sell the struggling gas stations to oil refineries "to establish gas station brands."

Last month, unofficial reports said Total and Shell had put forward proposals to establish gas stations in Iran, going so far as to claim that the Oil Ministry had already signed a deal with the duo. According to officials, gas station owners can found a private joint-stock company to create their own brand.

In addition, the first Iranian brand was expected to be revealed by early October, with "Iranian" or "Iran's Green Fuel" underlined as the most likely trade names for the first Iranian commercialized gas station. Haj-Mohammadreza said gas stations are being commercialized via foreign brands because "companies such as Shell and Total's assets are five times the assets of the National Iranian Oil Company and the Oil Ministry."