Croatian Companies Keen on Expanding Energy Cooperation with Iran

Croatian firms can renovate Iranian refineries and repair pipelines and oil tankers.Croatian firms can renovate Iranian refineries and repair pipelines and oil tankers.

Ten Croatian oil companies have expressed readiness to provide Iran refinery services as well as oil and gas pipeline network equipment, the deputy oil minister for international affairs said.

“A new round of negotiations between the National Iranian Oil Company and representatives of 10 Croatian oil and gas firms is being held in Tehran in the presence of Croatia’s Ambassador, Striebor Keric,” Amirhossein Zamaninia was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Zamaninia added that the Croatian enterprises are willing to provide Iran's oil sector with state-of-the-art technical and engineering services. Moreover, Zagreb is interested in importing oil and petrochemicals from Iran.

Stressing that there are no limitations to expand cooperation with active oil, gas and petrochemical companies of Croatia, the official noted, “The firms have submitted their proposals not only to renovate Iranian refineries but also repair pipelines and oil tankers.”

Underscoring the Croatian firms' proposal to cooperate with Iran's private sector, he noted that collaborating with foreign companies can help Iran improve its technical know-how and establish a foothold in international markets.

According to Zamaninia, in 2008, INA, Croatia's national oil company, signed an agreement on oil and gas exploration at 17 fields in Iran, but the project was suspended due to the sanctions. After the lifting of international sanctions Zagreb has sought to expand economic and energy cooperation with Tehran. According to Total Croatia News, the visit by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic to Iran in May at the head of a large business delegation led by the Croatian Chamber of Economy paved the way for boosting energy cooperation.

"Croatia is strongly committed to long-term economic cooperation with Iran," Grabar-Kitarovic said at the time, emphasizing that strengthening Tehran-Zagreb ties will send a positive message to all the European Union countries that are considering engagement with the Islamic Republic.

Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture hosted Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was accompanied by representatives Croatian energy firms, in Tehran in May.

Zamaninia says Croatia has an important geopolitical position in Europe and could become a distributor of Iranian gas to many European countries. Croatia's coast straddles along the Adriatic Sea and shares borders with Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia.

The country has an extensive rail network spanning 2,722 kilometers across the country and is also home to some of Europe's busiest ports, thanks to its long coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Because of its limited energy resources, Croatia is heavily dependent on imported oil and gas. There are major oil and gas pipelines going through Croatia and additional pipelines are being proposed. Most of the natural gas is piped in via Slovenia.


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