Iran to Approve More Companies for Oil, Gas Tenders

NIOC says Russian majors are unlikely to be excluded from the oil tenders.
NIOC says Russian majors are unlikely to be excluded from the oil tenders.

The National Iranian Oil Company will reveal a second list of international companies approved to bid in the country’s oil and gas tenders, the deputy head of NIOC said on Saturday.

Rejecting claims that Russian giants namely Zarubezhneft, Tatneft and Rosneft have been sidelined from Iran's emerging energy market, Gholamreza Manouchehri said the NIOC is preparing the second list of international firms qualified to bid in tenders for dozens of oil projects, Mehr News Agency reported.

According to Manouchehri, the first list that was issued earlier this month consists of 29 oil and gas companies, including Russia's Lukoil and Gazprom.

The first list also includes oil majors such as France’s Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy’s Eni, Danish conglomerate Maersk, Austria’s OMV and Schlumberger as well as East Asian companies like CNPC and Sinopec, Inpex, KOGAS and Petronas.

Manouchehri speculated that Zarubezhneft and Tatneft, who have signed preliminary agreements to study Iranian oilfields, are likely to make it into the second list.

"NIOC welcomes cooperation with all companies with advanced knowhow and the will to expand their role in Iran's upstream petroleum sector, and this is why Russian majors are unlikely to be excluded from Iran's oil tenders."

Russian companies have reportedly signed deals to study seven Iranian oil and gas reservoirs.

Zarubezhneft is undertaking studies to boost extraction from two Iranian oilfields shared with Iraq, namely, Aban and West Paydar. Lukoil is now conducting technical studies over two oilfields namely Ab-Teymour and Mansouri and is due to submit its findings to the NIOC in the near future.

Russia's Gazprom Neft PJSC is conducting surveys on Cheshmeh Khosh and Changuleh fields in Ilam Province west of Iran. Tatneft is also reportedly in an agreement to help study and develop the western Dehloran oilfield.

According to Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Rosneft is also interested in developing the Azadegan Oilfield shared by Iran and Iraq.

“Rosneft has negotiated with the National Iranian Oil Company to develop Yaran, Koupal and Maroun Oilfields in the southern province of Khuzestan via enhanced oil recovery methods."

Russian officials say the high level of crude production in their country points to its advanced knowhow and role in the oil industry.

  Swap Deals

According to Russian Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov, talks are underway between Moscow and Tehran to resume oil swap deals, but they are still in the preliminary stages.

Officials in Tehran say they are ready to resume the swap of petroleum products with northern neighbors after a six-year hiatus.

Swap deals came to an abrupt end in 2009 following a controversial decision by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to halt the operations.

Iran is reportedly ready to swap 150,000 barrels per day of crude with companies such as Lukoil, but the volume can rise to 500,000 barrels over time, according to Amirhossein Zamaninia, deputy for international affairs at NIOC.


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