Iran-BP Deal Denied

Iran-BP Deal DeniedIran-BP Deal Denied

An Oil Ministry official denied reports that Tehran held secret talks with BP managers in the capital last month to hand over two oil projects to the British oil and gas major.

"Iran has negotiated with many (oil and gas) companies, but has neither reached an agreement nor finalized a deal," Oil Ministry's PR Director Akbar Nematollahi was quoted as saying by ISNA.

He added that striking a deal on the development of oil and gas fields is a complicated and time-consuming procedure.

Ali Kardar, the deputy for investment affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company, also described as "publicity stunt" the claims that BP has secured major projects in the Persian Gulf country ahead of lifting the sanctions.

"BP voiced readiness to cooperate with regard to Iran’s new oil contracts only in a meeting with the NIOC," he said on the sidelines of an oil conference in London, refuting claims that the two sides have reached an agreement.

The oil major said earlier this week it had sent a team of managers to Iran in September to secure a place in the country's lucrative oil and gas market.

“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 an unnamed BP spokesperson as saying.

BP CEO Bob Dudley has acknowledged that the company is "very much" interested in having business ties with the Islamic Republic.