Romania Interested in Iran’s LNG, Hydrocarbon Projects

Romania Interested in Iran’s LNG, Hydrocarbon ProjectsRomania Interested in Iran’s LNG, Hydrocarbon Projects

Romania is willing to import natural gas and LNG from Iran and take part in the Persian Gulf country's offshore and onshore oil and gas projects, deputy oil minister for international affairs said.

"The country has expressed interest in buying gas and liquefied natural gas from Iran … They also want to cooperate in the production of [oil and gas] equipment," Amirhossein Zamaninia was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency

The two sides discussed the issues with a high-ranking Romanian delegation who visited Tehran earlier this month for three days of political, economic, cultural and scientific talks.

Iranian officials have ruled out the export of natural gas to Europe via pipeline due to high operational costs and political complications, but plans to expand its outreach in Europe's LNG market.

Zamaninia noted that Romania is counting on Iran to diversify its natural gas supplies.

"They were told that Iran will be in a position in four to five years to export gas in the form of LNG," he added.

Although Romania has not directly imported crude oil from Iran, it has received Iran's oil from Russia's Lukoil that purchased around 1 million barrels of oil from Iran last month to deliver to its refinery in the central European country.

Iran has set ambitious targets for its burgeoning oil and gas sector. It is planning to raise gas output, largely from its shared South Pars Gas Field with regional rival Qatar to 1.2 billion cubic meters per day.

Iran currently produces 420 mcm/d and has some way to go before it can match or exceed Qatar's more than 700 mcm/d output. The country has vowed to boost oil production capacity to its pre-sanctions level of 3.6 million barrels a day in the short run and pump 4.7 million bpd by 2021–the end of its sixth five-year development plan.

According to reports, Iran used to sell as much as 800,000 bpd of oil to European refiners in Italy, Spain and Greece before the sanctions over its nuclear program were imposed.

The government has held talks with a number of international companies in recent months to develop its lingering LNG projects.

Russia's top natural gas producer Gazprom had been weighing up Iran's LNG projects in Iran before the country reached an agreement with six world powers on its nuclear program in July. French major Total has also said it is interested in buying and marketing Iran's LNG.

Iran's combined oil and gas condensates exports reached 1.75 million barrels per day in February, propped up 400,000 bpd compared with the same month of last year, according to Iran's Oil Ministry.