No Plans to Open S. America Oil Office

No Plans to Open S. America Oil Office No Plans to Open S. America Oil Office

Iran is ready to discuss crude export to South America, but there are currently no plans to reopen the National Iranian Oil Company's office in any country in Latin America in the near future, Deputy Oil Minister Amirhossein Zamaninia said.

The official specifically ruled out speculations that the NIOC might reopen its office in the eastern Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, which was shut last year, Mehr News Agency reported.

NIOC's office in Bolivia started operations five years ago during a visit by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the country.

But NIOC Managing Director Rokneddin Javadi announced in 2014 the closure of the Persian Gulf country's only office in South America, citing financial reasons for the decision.

The office was planned to serve as a platform to expand energy trade, including the transfer of technical and engineering knowhow to other South American countries, such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba and Nicaragua.

Zamaninia added that senior government officials from Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago will attend the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, which will be held on November 23 in the Iranian capital Tehran.

Tehran and Sucre had signed an agreement to develop five oil and gas fields in south Bolivia. Plans also called for jointly building a refinery in Bolivia with a capacity to process 30,000 barrels of oil a day.

The increasing prospect of an end to sanctions has spurred Iran to expand cooperation with Brazil, Latin America's largest and the world's seventh largest economy.

Iran wants Brazil's expertise on deepwater oil exploration to develop its massive oil and gas fields, while Brazil has expressed interest in buying Iran's liquefied petroleum gas.

The two sides signed a deal last month to jointly build an oil refinery with a processing capacity of 300,000 barrels per day in the South American country.

Iran plans to produce 3.8 million to 3.9 million barrels of oil a day by March, with output rising by 500,000 barrels a day soon after sanctions are lifted and by 1 million barrels within the following five months.

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