ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Despite US sanctions and President Donald Trump’s threat to increase pressure, Iran says it will seal at least $20 billion in energy contracts, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
The international oil companies to sign with Iran include Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch group, and Kremlin-controlled Rosneft.
Iran’s deputy oil minister for international affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia said the Islamic Republic was negotiating 28 provisional agreements with foreign oil companies.
These include Maersk Oil and Rosneft who plan to develop the oil layer in South Pars, the world’s largest gas field. Additionally, Russian firms Lukoil, Gazprom, and Zarubezhneft plan to develop oilfields in Paydar Gharb, Abteymour, Mansouri, and others.
“Any international oil company that you know, we are negotiating with…except the Americans,” Zamaninia said.
Iran claims it has seen “no tangible change in international oil companies’ determination [to invest] and the speed of their negotiations with Iran” despite recent US verbal threats to curb Iran’s ambitions.
Ever since the nuclear deal between Iran and the five-plus world powers in 2015, oil exports have doubled to about 2.4 million barrels per day.
Iran has significantly large oil and gas resources but low volumes of production, and, therefore, relies on foreign companies to develop fields.
South Pars gas field is to be developed by France’s Total that signed a $4.8 billion contract in July.
The company will have to stop if international regulations impose new sanctions.
Shell has not declared if it would sign a deal to develop one of the giant oilfields in southern Iran.
Additionally, after the lifting of sanctions on Tehran following the 2015 nuclear deal, many airlines resumed direct flights including British Airways and Lufthansa (DLAKY).
International hotel chains are moving fast to meet the demand for more rooms although many investors still hesitate to trust Iran with their funds as the country keeps testing missiles despite warnings from the US.
France’s Accor (ACCYY) was the first chain to open in Iran in 2015 and now operates two hotels there while Spain’s Melia (SMIZF) is expected to open its first hotel next year.
Rotana of the United Arab Emirates also plans to open one hotel by early next year and three more by 2020.
Local entrepreneurs and foreign businesses see the booming industry as an investment opportunity.