Iran considers working with Europe’s medium-sized oil firms: Official

Tasnim – An Iranian Oil Ministry official raised the possibility of working with medium-sized European companies as the fear of facing US penalties has discouraged big enterprises from doing business with Iran.

In a radio interview on Tuesday, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy oil minister for international affairs and trading, said European medium-sized companies that are less engaged in trade with the US, will benefit from the European Union’s political support if they choose to work with Iran.

Asked about a possibility that French oil company Total might back out of a deal on development of Iran’s South Pars gas field in light of the US scrapping of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the deputy minister said medium-sized European firms willing to work with Iran even outdo the giants in technological abilities in some cases.

He further noted that Iran’s first priority is to sell oil products and receive the income without any trouble.

Zamaninia said the Oil Ministry stands with the Foreign Ministry during the negotiations with Europe about details of issues relating to oil tankers, shipping industry and export of petrochemical products.

Total announced earlier this month that it may pull out of South Pars deal following US President Donald Trump’s move to pull his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-impose sanctions against Tehran.

Total said it would not be making any further commitments towards the Iranian South Pars project for now, and added it was engaged with French and US authorities over the possibility of a waiver to the project.

The French company said it had so far spent less than 40 million euros ($47 million) on the South Pars project, and that pulling out of it would not impact the company’s general production growth targets.

Iran and the other parties to the JCPOA, namely Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, have launched talks to keep the deal in a way that Tehran’s benefits are secured.

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