6 May 2007 - 09:57
  • News Code: 103907
Oil Giants Rush to Buy Iran Blocks Documents

TEHRAN – Fourteen oil giants have so far purchased the tender documents of 17 Iranian oil blocks, said a National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) official here Saturday.

Hossein Roshandel, NIOC deputy director for exploration affairs, added that 62 information packages have been purchased.

The Anglo-Dutch Shell, France’s Total, Brazil’s Petrobras, Malaysia’s Petronas, Spain’s Repsol, and Austria’s OMV were among the bidders, said the official, however refusing to name the purchasers.

Roshandel said at least €450 million is needed for exploratory operations.

Of the blocks, five are offshore and 12 onshore, spreading across nine provinces in a 129,000km area.

Quchan, Naft-Shahr, Ilam, Danan, Fassa, Bandar Abbas, Razi, Maraveh, Tappeh, Moghan 1 and 2, Kavir, Alvand, Ferdowsi, Laleh, Taban, and Deir constitute the 17 blocks.

Companies may purchase tender documents at varying prices, but the maximum price is €38 thousand, he said in a Mehr report.

Iran expects to attract €46 million for the blocks, Roshandel said.

Iran introduced 17 oil blocks for exploration and development during a February meeting in the Austrian capital Vienna.

US pressures to persuade foreign oil companies not to invest in Iran have been ineffective.

OMV and Iran"s National Iranian Oil Company announced a deal late last month that includes the development of some sectors of Iran"s gas fields, a gas liquefaction plant and purchasing contracts for liquefied natural gas. At present OMV is involved in an offshore oil project in Iran.

The head of OMV, the leading oil and gas group in Central Europe, rejected US concerns about his company"s plans to develop Iran"s gas industry.

Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, CEO of Austria"s largest listed industrial company, told journalists that "of course we will respect all national, EU and UN regulations."

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the US will bring its concerns up with the Austrian government and OMV, even though UN Security Council resolutions do not prohibit oil and gas ventures with Iran.

According to Iranian reports, the deal would be worth 30 billion dollars over the next 25 years.

Support for OMV has come from Austria"s government. Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik stressed that "no general economic boycott" existed against Iran.

"I see this deal also in light of energy security, that is an issue for all of us," she said at the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers" meeting in Luxembourg. OMV would "of course" carefully examine all aspects of the deal with respect to the existing regulations, Plassnik said.


News Code 103907

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