Refinery Project, LPG Trade Dominate Iran-Brazil Talks

Refinery Project, LPG Trade Dominate Iran-Brazil TalksRefinery Project, LPG Trade Dominate Iran-Brazil Talks

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh explored opportunities for cooperation in energy sector with Brazil in a meeting with the country's minister of development, industry and foreign trade, Armando Monteiro.

"Iran and Brazil are oil-rich nations … Brazil has invaluable experience in deepwater oil exploration. We can use their expertise in the Caspian Sea," Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Shana on Tuesday.

Brazil is also interested in buying Iran's liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, Zanganeh said without elaboration. It is the latest country to discuss LPG trade with Tehran in the past few weeks after Spain, Poland and France.

Monteiro, accompanied by Minister of Mines and Energy Eduardo Braga and 35 Brazilian traders and economic players, is on a three-day visit to Tehran to strengthen bilateral relations in trade, energy, banking and agriculture sectors.

Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Kazemi said Iran and Brazil on Tuesday signed a deal to jointly build an oil refinery with a processing capacity of 300,000 barrels per day in the South American country.

He said the refinery would entirely use Iranian oil as feedstock, allowing for long-term supply of the country's crude to Brazil.

Kazemi told reporters on Monday that the National Iranian Oil Company was weighing up funding refinery projects in Brazil and India in return for steady oil exports to the two countries.

On Monday, the Brazilian mission met with Iran's Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mohammad Khazaei, deputy economy minister.

The Brazilian envoys are also slated to meet with top Iranian officials and representatives of the private sectors.

The visit comes about two weeks after the visit of Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia to Brasilia in mid-October.

Iran-Brazil bilateral trade stood at $1.4 billion in 2014, according to Monteiro, who called for expanding ties in food, energy, science, technology, oil, gas and petrochemical sectors.

"Japanese and South Korean companies are also willing to modernize dilapidated refineries and build new units in Iran to help the Persian Gulf country cut fuel consumption and boost gasoline production," he added.

Cooperation With Indians

Kazemi noted that negotiations are underway with an Indian company to build a crude refinery with a 400,000-bpd capacity in India, a project in which Iran will have a 50% stake.

However, he stressed that negotiations are in the initial stages and no agreement has been reached so far.

This comes as India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp. is reportedly in talks with Pars Oil and Gas Company to return to a $10-billion gas project that it abandoned due to US-engineered sanctions against the Islamic Republic, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Citing POGC CEO Ali-Akbar Shabanpour as saying, the journal said ONGC approached Iranian officials last week during an energy conference in Tehran.

ONGC is interested in returning to Farzad B, a giant natural gas field in the Persian Gulf.