US and Canada to Join Iranian Crude Customers

Iran has begun negotiations with American and Canadian oil companies on petrochemical sales, technology purchases, as well as investment in the country’s oil and gas industries.

Given the removal of sanctions, new oil agreements were estimated to be inked with major European firms like Shell, BP, Eni, Total and Repsol, though North American companies seem to have overtaken them in launching oil talks with Iran.

Accordingly, over the past few months, several American and Canadian companies have initiated talks on implementing projects in upstream and midstream sections of Iranian oil, gas and petrochemical industries aiming to make investments, sell goods and equipment, offer drilling services as well as to purchase oil products from Iran.

Iran’s Minister of Oil, Bijan Zanganeh, had previously pointed to negotiations held with several American companies like General Electric, stressing, “The talks have been constructive.”

In addition, the Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Roknodin Javadi, has rejected the existence of legal restrictions or prohibitions on making oil deals or joint investments with North American companies, especially American ones: “Iran is ready to sell oil to all world countries except for the Israeli regime.”

In time for the return of General Electric to the negotiation table, Halliburton of the US has also conducted talks with the National Iranian Drilling Company on offering certain technical services as the likelihood of signing oil agreements with the American firm has increased for launching new drilling projects with Iranian private and state companies.

Managing Director of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Marzieh Shah-Daei touched upon certain talks with a number of American companies on running new cooperation in petrochemical industries, maintaining that “No direct talk has been conducted with American oil giants, though one American firm has made proposals thorough its branch in Europe.”

Shah-Daei said the axis of talks with the American-European company had been the purchase of technical knowledge, asserting “Direct investment in Iranian petrochemical industries on the part of American companies is not currently at stake.”

Meanwhile, some managers of Iranian petrochemical firms have reported on receiving proposals from American companies on exports of certain petrochemical and polymer products, like different grades of PVC powder.

Also, as Head of Technology and Research at the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) Javad Rostami noted, “The project to examine the economic justification and feasibility of the Binaloud oilfield has been handed over to a Canadian company. Currently, we are looking forward to receiving its final report.”

Head of Oil Industry Equipment Producing Association Reza Khiamian also reported on talks with Canadian oil equipment producers, adding “In addition to the North American countries, some negotiations have been held with European countries like France and Germany.”

Khiamian further enumerated the main axes of talks between Iranian and Canadian companies, including “Knowledge and technology transfer, establishment of a production line for manufacturing advanced industrial equipment as well as investment attraction.”

On Monday, the Director of the DMC Process Project at the Research Institute of the Petroleum Industry (RIPI), Mansur Bazmi, reported on collaborations with a Canadian company on the construction of an oil desalination plant: “Iran and Canada will both participate in the construction the facilities.”

Meanwhile, Iranian oil industry officials refuse to name the American and Canadian sides of the ongoing negotiations, concluding that “The companies involved in the course of negotiations need to remain confidential, for the time being.”

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