January 26, 2014
As sanctions recede, Iran looks to develop gas industry (AFP, January 26, 2014)
"We would welcome foreign companies and investors if they want to come back," said Hamid Reza Massoudi, chief engineer at an unfinished South Pars refinery near the town of Assaluyeh, 920 kilometres (570 miles) south of Tehran."They would definitely speed up the progress," Massoudi said, as work proceeded on the refinery's structure.Development at the mammoth offshore field has been hobbled for years by sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union, a lack of foreign and domestic investment and technical challenges.Iran struggled to fill the vacuum after the departure of France's Total, Spain's Repson and the Royal Dutch Shell, and efforts to continue development through state-owned and quasi-private companies had mixed success.But President Hassan Rouhani's stated ambition to resolve the dispute with the West over Iran's nuclear drive has raised hopes of relief from financial sanctions and embargoes that have drastically curtailed oil production and vital exports.The diplomatic rapprochement could also spark foreign investment and lead to a return of oil majors to revive ageing oilfields and to South Pars.
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 26, 2014 7:09 AM