Iran firms defy sanctions by signing $1 billion in oil deals
Tehran (KNA) - Iranian companies have signed $1 billion in contracts for enhanced recovery at nine aging oilfields of the country which is now left to its own devices in the face of the most restrictive US sanctions ever.
Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh oversaw the signing between two subsidiaries of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and seven domestic contractors to raise recovery at the fields by 90,000 barrels a day, media reports said Wednesday.
The fields – seven located in Khuzestan province and two in Bushehr and Fars provinces – are all onshore. They are among 33 oilfields selected for revival by Iranian companies at a total cost of $6 billion over three years after which they will add 300,000 barrels a day to Iran’s production capacity.
The new dark clouds of US sanctions have a silver lining for Iranian companies which normally have a slim chance of being involved in upstream projects because major investment schemes are mostly snapped up by international firms.
President Donald Trump’s decision in May to withdraw the US from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions prompted a host of oil and gas companies to abandon their projects in the country.
The decision, however, was a piece of uplifting news to Iranian companies and NIOC has wasted no time in putting its trust in their capabilities and not disappointing them.
"We wanted to create projects only for Iranian contractors," Zangeneh said at the signing ceremony in Tehran Tuesday. "We wanted to raise hope among local companies as the US wants to cause worry and upset Iranian people by the sanctions," he was quoted as saying.