Jan 31, 2016, 2:34 PM
News Code: 81942901
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Oil companies to focus on Iran in 2016: Report

Tehran, Jan 31, IRNA – A foreign website specialized in oil markets has written that oil companies will look to Iran in 2016 amid tighter budgets.

“The National” wrote that oil companies’ investment this year will be focused on new opportunities in Iran and Mexico as they cut budgets sharply amid continued low oil prices, a new report by industry consultant Wood Mackenzie forecasts.

It noted that “the investment environment overall remains weak, according to Wood Mac, which recently estimated that $380 billion of oil and gas projects had been cancelled or delayed with a further $170bn worth at risk as oil prices plumb depths not reached for more than a decade in the low $30s per barrel.”

“Ageing, high-cost fields and a lack of new investment combine to challenge operators and governments alike,” according to Wood Mac. “But opportunities will exist despite the tough environment – Iran and Mexico both offer new potential and mergers and acquisitions activity is expected to increase.”

Iran last year identified 52 development projects that it will seek investment partners for post-sanctions, and it is expected next month to give more detail on its new enhanced investment petroleum contracts, Wood Mac noted, according to the website.

Saying that “on Thursday, the chief executive of Total, France’s largest oil company which had been one of Iran’s biggest industry partners before sanctions, announced that it had struck a deal to lift up to 200,000 barrels of crude oil from Iran,” it said “the marketing deal is no doubt a precursor to a bigger investment deal to develop production in Iran.”

Additionally, the Italian oil services company Saipem said earlier in the week that it had signed an initial agreement with Iran to undertake pipeline work.

“But,” the website wrote, “negotiations will take time [and] we do not expect any meaningful ramp-up in production from new developments this year.” The consultant forecast an increase of 400,000 barrels per day in Iranian exports this year as existing wells that had been shut in are brought back onstream. But that falls well short of the Iranian oil minister’s projection of an increase of 1 million bpd within six months.”