Oil Equipment Import Only Through Tenders

Oil Equipment Import Only Through TendersOil Equipment Import Only Through Tenders

Iran will import foreign oil, gas and petrochemical equipment only through a tender process, an official at the Oil Ministry said.

"Foreign companies are offering attractive proposals to take part in Iran's energy sector," Ali Agha-Najafi, head of the ministry's Planning and Policymaking Department for self-sufficiency in oil equipment production, was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

"And they want to be guaranteed that we will purchase oil equipment only from them … but according to Iran's tender rules and regulations, we cannot give such promises and they should bid in tenders."

The measure is to put domestic manufacturers of oil and gas equipment on an equal footing with international producers who want to gain a foothold in the country's promising energy sector after sanctions against Tehran's nuclear program were lifted last months.

Iran has announced plans to ramp up crude oil and natural gas output, but the Persian Gulf state needs billions of dollars to upgrade its age-old production facilities after years of economic upheaval and disinvestment that curbed its relations with the world.

"Domestic manufacturers are afraid they may be cast aside now that sanctions are lifted and foreign firms are returning," Agha-Najafi noted.

He added that there is a dual policy in embracing domestic production.

"Resistance Economy stipulates the use of domestic potential, while tender rules necessitate the implementation of equipment with highest quality," he said without proposing how to walk the fine line between the two approaches.

Resistance Economy is a set of policies proposed by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei to counter sanctions and boost production.

Oil Ministry is also engaged in talks with German conglomerate Siemens to release its oil equipment blocked by sanctions, with Siemens official saying "there are no legal restrictions anymore" to supply Iran with its oil equipment following the lifting of sanctions.