Foreign JVs Key to Fund Offshore Energy Projects

Foreign JVs Key to Fund Offshore Energy ProjectsForeign JVs Key to Fund Offshore Energy Projects

A senior energy executive said on Monday that Iran needs to open up its energy sector to foreign companies to drive growth in its key oil and gas projects, particularly the more demanding offshore development projects.

“To raise Iran’s share of oil and gas extraction from joint fields with neighbors, especially Qatar, Iran needs to create joint ventures with foreign energy companies,” Abolqasem Rahmani, managing director of the Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company (IOEC), was quoted as saying by ILNA on Monday.

Rahmani noted that international companies have enough assets to finance the projects, in which Iranian companies lag behind.

“However, domestic firms are on a par with internationals in many technical areas,” he added.

Underscoring that domestic companies can enhance their ability by working in tandem with foreign oil and gas corporations, Rahmani said the skilled workforce plus the potential to manufacture oil and gas equipment are advantages of investing in Iran.  

IOEC, which is also a consultant in the Iran-Oman subsea gas pipeline project, has carried out studies for deciding the best sea route for the delivery of Iranian gas to the Arab neighbor, which will be finalized in coordination with the Omani side.

In an interview with Reuters in August, Oman's Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy said his country and Iran were at an advanced stage of designing the pipeline and had agreed on a deeper option than originally envisaged route to avoid crossing the UAE borders.

“Instead of the shallower option at around 300 meters deep, the pipeline could plunge close to 1,000 meters below the sea's surface and will be slightly shorter,” he said.

Experts say maintenance of the pipeline will be much more difficult at that depth.

The planned pipeline would connect Iran's vast gas reserves to consumers in the Sultanate of Oman as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) for re-export.

IOEC is one of the largest integrated offshore and sub-sea pipe-laying companies in the Middle East.

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