NIOC Seeks Petrobras Role in Caspian Drilling
Iran wants to expand oil and gas cooperation with Brazil, the fastest-growing oil producer outside OPEC, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.
He made the remark on the sidelines of a meeting with Fernando Bezerra Coelho Filho, Brazil’s energy minister, in Tehran on Saturday, IRNA reported.
"Iran is ready and willing to provide Brazilian refineries with crude oil," he noted.
Highlighting the vast experience of Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras in undertaking deepwater exploration and drilling projects, Zanganeh said, "The National Iranian Oil Company can use Petrobras expertise to explore oilfields in the Caspian Sea."
Last month, Zanganeh said Iran is planning to team up with Brazilian firms to conduct deepwater oil exploration in the northern waters.
In the past few years, extraction of oil and gas from the Caspian Sea has risen significantly by other littoral states, but Iran's share has remained zero.
Iran and Brazil have also signed an agreement to jointly build an oil refinery with a processing capacity of 300,000 barrels per day in the South American country. The refinery would use Iranian oil as feedstock, allowing for long-term supply of the country's crude to Brazil.
According to Zanganeh, Brazilian manufacturers can also embark on joint ventures to produce 10 types of essential goods and equipment in the oil and gas industry, including drilling bits, control valves, electromotor, rotating machinery and metering devices.
Calling for establishment of stronger banking relations between the two sides, the oil minister noted that long-term cooperation with Brazil is on the NIOC priority list.
"In his recent trip to Brasilia, our Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia discussed clearing banking and business obstacles in a meeting of Brazil-Iran Economic Commission," Zanganeh noted, saying that the two countries pursue similar economic ambitions which cannot be fully realized unless banking ties are normal.
Underscoring Iran's technical expertise in implementing refinery and oil discovery projects, Coelho Filho said, "Brazil has plans to benefit from the experience of Iranian oil experts in developing oil projects."
According to the Brazilian minister, investment companies in his country have expressed willingness to invest in Iran's oil industry, especially in exploration projects, following Tayyebnia's trip.
According to Ali Osuli, Khazar Exploration and Production Company managing director, KEPCO has opened talks with Petrobras to carry out deepwater exploration and drilling projects in the Caspian Sea.
KEPCO had reached an agreement with Petrobras in 2010 on developing two exploration blocks after three years of negotiations, the official said, but international sanctions forced the Brazilian company to pull back.
Traditionally an oil-producing area, the Caspian region's importance as a natural gas producer is fast growing. Most of the sea's offshore oil reserves are in the northern parts of the sea, while most of the offshore natural gas reserves are in the southern regions.
Brazil, which is developing huge offshore oil reserves, will boost output by 290,000 barrels a day next year to 2.9 million a day, the biggest increase of any non-OPEC nation, according to the International Energy Agency.