Iran already courting major European oil companies for increased investment, production in 2014

posted at 1:01 pm on December 9, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

As Iran continues to plow ahead with furthering their uranium enrichment technology, they have wasted no time in getting to work on reversing the crippling effects of the sanctions on which they managed to convince the Obama administration and the planet’s other power players to ease up at last. Iran has some of the world’s largest and more cheaply recoverable oil-and-gas reserves, and they want to kick their economy back into gear by significantly ramping up production in 2014; hence, Iranian officials are already romancing European oil companies with potential business opportunities on which they’d like to get to work, and soon. U.S. firms have been barred from doing business with Iran for ages, but the European companies were only barred a couple of years ago with a new round of sanctions, and they might want to get back in the game if sanctions are really lifted:

Iran has named western oil companies it wants back in its vast oil and gas fields once international sanctions are lifted. The oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said contract terms would be offered next April. The seven companies named are: Total of France, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy’s ENI, Norway’s Statoil, Britain’s BP and US companies Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips. …

But Iran’s production stagnated through the 2000s amid growing international tensions over its nuclear programme. The more effective sanctions instituted in 2012 have choked out foreign investment and sent output down to 2.65m barrels a day in November from an average of 4.3m in 2011. …

Speaking at an Opec meeting, Zanganeh said he was already talking with some companies, although so far not those from the US.

Of course, Congress has yet to take further sanctions off of the table of near-future possibilities, and some members would like to warn any oil companies looking to invest in Iran that they could be in for some severe penalties themselves if they start moving forward too soon, via Foreign Policy:

That hasn’t stopped petro-giants like Royal Dutch Shell, Italian company Eni, and Austrian oil and gas company OMV from exploring the possibility of renewing their operations in Iran. And those moves have both Democratic and Republican lawmakers livid.

“Companies examining their options for resuming business relationships with the Iranian regime are acting prematurely at best,” Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Foreign Policy. …

A GOP aide said the renewed interest in Iran’s oil industry by foreign businesses is the type of secondary effect that Republicans warned could happen with the loosening of sanctions.

A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that he “thinks loosening sanctions and recognizing Iran’s enrichment program was a mistake, and it will not stop Iran’s march toward nuclear capability.”

This, of course, was always the point of Iran’s newfound willingness to discuss a nuke deal: Make whatever promises are necessary to get international sanctions off of their backs now, and maybe they’ll follow through with those promises later. Maybe.


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The three US oil companies (ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips) should stay out of this…

mnjg on December 9, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Speaking at an Opec meeting, Zanganeh said he was already talking with some companies, although so far not those from the US.

It is illegal for US companies to do any type of business with Iran including the simplest communications such as face to face talk, phone call, or e-mails…

mnjg on December 9, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Excellent.

Then they’ll have money to buy O’bozo’s F-16s!

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 1:36 PM

This, of course, was always the point of Iran’s newfound willingness to discuss a nuke deal: Make whatever promises are necessary to get international sanctions off of their backs now, and maybe they’ll follow through with those promises later. Maybe.

Well, so far Iran has produced zero,0,zip, nada, null nuclear weapons despite neocons crying wolf over Iran for the last 20 years. Why don’t we start calling out neocons as the liars instead of the Iranians?

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 1:42 PM

If Iran gets nukes, we will probably see our first nuclear war/exchange. It will between middle east countries (probably not Israel). It will be a lesson for all. The oil companies that invested, will probably looses all their stuff and more, because that is where the bomb(s) will fall.

Then we will really find out if Shia or Sunni will be the dominant Islamic sect!

KenInIL on December 9, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Well, so far Iran has produced zero,0,zip, nada, null nuclear weapons despite neocons crying wolf over Iran for the last 20 years. Why don’t we start calling out neocons as the liars instead of the Iranians?

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Wow, that was some full on stupid there. How’d the “Mutually Agreed Framework” work out for you?

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 1:55 PM

But actually, you are right. Noone recognizes the Norks as a nuclear power yet either.

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Wow, that was some full on stupid there. How’d the “Mutually Agreed Framework” work out for you?
WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Let’s check the scoreboard

# of nukes neocons claim that Iran is on the verge of collecting – 100s
# of nukes actually possessed by Iran -0

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM

POSTED AT 10:41 AM ON OCTOBER 25, 2013 BY ED MORRISSEY

Iran a month away from a nuke

Ok, it’s been more than a month. Where is the nuke?

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Ok, it’s been more than a month. Where is the nuke?

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 2:13 PM

They have enough enriched weapon grade uranimum to make the bomb…

mnjg on December 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

uranimum = uranium

mnjg on December 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

They have enough enriched weapon grade uranimum to make the bomb…
mnjg on December 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

No they don’t. Weapons grade is enriched to ~90%. They have uranium enriched to ~20% for medical isotopes and 3-5% for power production. By the way, they are permitted to enrich to those levels by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 2:46 PM

They have uranium enriched to ~20% for medical isotopes

Please explain that one more.

And how do you know the level of enrichment they’ve achieved.

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM

# of nukes actually possessed by Iran -0

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM

number of assertions you can prove….0

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 2:53 PM

I think this is what you’re searching for Anti:

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Non-Power-Nuclear-Applications/Radioisotopes/Radioisotopes-in-Medicine/

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 3:04 PM

So basically that leaves us with a country awash in oil, risking sanctions and war, for energy.

Uh huh.

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 3:07 PM

And here’s a fun one to play with Anti
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388033/Is-second-missile-crisis-Iran-build-mid-range-rocket-bases-Venezuela.html

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Thankfully, Venezuela is in an inflationary spiral right now. Military spending drains wealth and Venezuela doesn’t have much wealth right now.

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Thankfully, Venezuela is in an inflationary spiral right now. Military spending drains wealth and Venezuela doesn’t have much wealth right now.

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Which is why Iran is paying for it.

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 3:17 PM

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 3:17 PM

As much as the Venezuelan government may dislike the US government, it doesn’t make sense for them to hit the US with a few missiles when the Federal government has the capability to level the country within a few weeks. I wouldn’t read to much into this story.

antifederalist on December 9, 2013 at 3:21 PM

here you go anti-, some stuff to read about breakout speed, etc. from Iran

http://www.isis-online.org/

the relevant question is why have they not gone to 90 percent. Well, part of it is that they are monitored. Remote sensing you know. So they have to be quick like a rabbit.

And now they don’t have the ability to weaponize…but i’m sure they are close to that too….you know ‘Boom’ Then of course there’s the missiles they test periodically.

i think a better argument for you to make it that it is basically a fait accompli…therefore how to contain is the question

my answer is 1 part missile defense and 2 increase our nuclear arsenal

leftists won’t buy that at all

r keller on December 9, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Anti:

It’s the long game. Our friends around the globe are dropping like flies because of this administration’s fecklessness. Iran is networking.

Zelaya in Honduras, FARC in Columbia, MuBro in Libya and Egypt. In every chance he gets, O’bozo seeks to slit the throat of US interests. It’s the death by a thousand cuts routine.

WryTrvllr on December 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

And yet Iran hasn’t invested in their own oil infrastructure since the regime came to power.

Russia took one look at their oil infrastructure and refused to invest in it back in 2007.

Around 2008 China was going to invest $10B in Iran’s oil infrastructure but realized the way that Iran runs its contracts was hostile to outside producers, decided to give that idea a pass.

Iran’s only constant has been shoveling funds into a nuclear industry to the point that marginal expansion of their oil production has been at a standstill since the regime came to power. New investment in their pipeline has been so lackluster that they actually lose money between oilfield and delivery point by pipeline loss. Their refineries no longer produce enough gasoline for the country or natural gas to the point they import 5% of their natural gas… and when Turkmenistan cut it off due to ‘problems’ they only re-opened the taps when Iran agreed to fork over a lot more cash so that the gas wasn’t sent to Europe. When the natural gas got shut off entire residential districts had to be shut off from it so that bread could be baked in downtown Tehran.

You want to take out Iran?

Send in a mercenary team or hire some Baluchs or Kurds to start taking out the pumping infrastructure and pipelines inside the country. Just standard armor piercing rounds ought to do it with a few incendiaries in the mix with AKs. Even old-fashioned RPG’s with HE would do the job. Couldn’t cost more than a few thousand dollars, either. But only a cut-throat, cheap enemy who sought chaos in Iran would actually do that… we are far too civilized to operate on such a low basis. Even though JFK did try to poison Castro’s cigars… and word was out that a few hitmen were sought to do that a bit more directly… no one would EVER think of hiring a few such hard men to do a nasty job and leave chaos in their wake.

Heaven forbid!

That would be ruthless.

Better to bribe Turkmenistan so that the taps are closed off forever… what is a few billion sent to the Red Mafia to do that and sell natural gas only to Europe amongst frenemies?

No we have to NEGOTIATE with a regime that LIES.

Good job, Obama!

ajacksonian on December 9, 2013 at 4:26 PM