British Petroleum Discusses Developing Iranian Oilfields

British Petroleum Discusses Developing Iranian OilfieldsBritish Petroleum Discusses Developing Iranian Oilfields

Serious negotiations are being held between the National Iranian Oil Company and British Petroleum for injecting investment and developing some Iranian oilfields, the deputy oil minister and head of NIOC said on Saturday.

“The new round of talks revolves around expanding oilfields, implementing enhanced oil recovery methods in the oilfields and conducting research and development initiatives,” Rokneddin Javadi was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Javadi noted that the oil giant has shown interest in developing a few oilfields in the Persian Gulf state.

Underscoring the fact that NIOC has signed neither memorandums of understanding nor contracts with the British enterprise, the official said, “Reaching an agreement with BP is not far-fetched if the two sides follow their negotiations.”

Asked about the time of reopening the company’s office in Tehran, Javadi noted that BP is willing to reopen its office and plans have been made to make it happen in summer.

According to the official, there have been great changes in BP’s policies compared to the past as the oil giant’s officials have shown interest in transferring state-of-the art knowhow to Iran.

Confirming ongoing talks with several high-profile companies, including BP, to sell Iran’s crude, Mohsen Qamsari, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company said, “If talks with BP come to fruition, Iran will provide the much-needed oil for one of BP’s refineries in South Africa.”

  Settling Dues

According to Amirhossein Zamani-Nia, deputy for international affairs at the Oil Ministry, BP is looking for investment opportunities and partnership in Iran’s oil and gas projects which explains talks between NIOC and BP for settling Iran’s accumulated long-awaited oil dues from Rhum gas field in the North Sea.

Iran and the UK have been cooperating in Rhum Gas Field in the North Sea since December 2005, when the field started pumping, until the imposition of the US-engineered sanctions. It led to a stoppage of gas production from the field in 2010.

Rhum Gas Field, which cost $565 million to develop, is shared equally by British Petroleum and Iran.

As part of efforts to put British companies back on Iran’s business map, Lord Lamont, who chairs the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, discussed bilateral banking hurdles to facilitate the repayment of Iran’s blocked share from the gas field.

As a stepping stone to rekindle ties with the Middle East country, Royal Dutch Shell cleared its outstanding €1.77 billion ($1.9 billion) debt to Iran for the crude oil it had bought but was unable to pay due to financial restrictions.

A Shell spokesperson said in a statement last month the company is “interested in exploring the role Shell can play in developing Iran’s energy potential within the boundaries of applicable laws”.