Iran’s Minister of Petroleum, Bijan Zangeneh, has indicated the his country and French major Total are to form closer ties in a bid to rebuild Iran’s offshore oil & gas industry.
The move comes as sanctions on Iran move closer towards being removed, following the P5+1 nation ‘Vienna Agreement’ in July.
The sanctions, that have been in place since 2012, were jointly put upon Iran by Europe and the US, after Iran’s refusal to stop its Uranium enrichment program.
Zangeneh said, “Total enjoys more than 20 years of presence in developing Iran’s oil projects and considering French companies’ willingness, a new chapter is expected to open in the company’s activities in [Iran’s] oil fields,” said the Iranian official.
French officials have also hinted that their nations petrochemical companies will be pushed towards financing the rebuilding of Iran’s oil and gas sector.
French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, is currently in the Iranian capitol of Tehran to conduct meetings on the issue. Speaking earlier, Fabius said, “Before sanctions [were imposed on Iran], Paris was an important trade partner for Tehran and it hopes to regain its past position following the Vienna agreement.”
Iran’s biggest trade partner Germany, have also sent a delegation to Tehran in a bid to win early government contracts and to further strengthen its economic ties with Iran.
Germany hopes to gain more support from the Iranian government for its private sector, and further increase its output to Tehran, which stood at nearly 5 billion Euros in 2010.
Companies such as German based Siemens currently provide Iran with the software needed to run the uranium centrifuges that have been the centre of debate sanctions debate. Its thought Siemens is one such company that is desperate to expand its oil and gas divisions in to the oil rich nation.
Iran has already hinted that if sanctions are lifted, then oil and gas will start to flow out of the country within the week.
The sanctions however are still in place, and are still being hotly debated by the P5+1 nations, no where more so that in the US.
Only if all nations give the green light to lift sanctions, will governments be able to start to move their private sectors in. The questions still remain, will the sanctions ever be lifted, and if so, who will make it to Iran first?