Petronas Ready to Buy Iranian Crude

Petronas Ready to Buy Iranian CrudePetronas Ready to Buy Iranian Crude

An official at Malaysia's Petronas said the state-owned oil and gas company is ready to resume the import of Iranian crude by 50,000-60,000 barrels a day after the sanctions are lifted, raising the volume to the pre-sanctions level.

"A new chapter is about to begin in relations between Petronas and the National Iranian Oil Company," Ikhlas Abdul Rahman, head of Middle East operations at Petronas, told Mehr News Agency.

The US-engineered sanctions against Iran forced many international oil and gas companies over the past four years to put an end to their business in the Islamic Republic. However, Abdul Rahman said Petronas never shut its office in Tehran and is willing to boost bilateral trade.

Regarding Petronas' cooperation in Iran's oil and gas projects, the official said it is awaiting the presentation of the country's revised version of oil contracts.

"NIOC should officially put on the table a list of its oil projects … In all, we are very positive about returning to Iran's oil industry," he said.

The Malaysian major stopped gasoline supplies to Iran in 2010, joining the likes of Lukoil, Shell, Glencore and Vitol, which had taken similar decisions in fear of violating the sanctions.

Petronas also started an academic course on transferring expertise to a subsidiary of the NIOC.

Iranian oil officials say Asian markets are key to raise crude exports after the sanctions are lifted.

The Persian Gulf country is planning to boost crude production by 500,000 bpd within a week after the removal of sanctions and take daily production to more than 4 million bpd by the end of 2016.

Sanctions curbed Iran’s sales of crude and condensate to 1.4 million barrels a day in 2014 from 2.6 million bpd in 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

It pumped 2.8 million bpd of crude in September, making it the fifth-largest OPEC producer, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.