Oil Industry Support

Discussion in 'Promote The Cause' started by Unregistered, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Iran Tankers Idle in Persian Gulf

    Iran, OPEC’s second-largest crude producer, has at least three supertankers idling in the Persian Gulf, as oil prices decline five weeks before the group’s next meeting, vessel-tracking data show.

    The tankers, each bigger than the Chrysler Building, have been almost stationary for at least four weeks, according to data from the ships collected by AIS Live Ltd. The depth of the 2-million-barrel vessels sitting in the water indicates they are loaded. The amount of oil stored may expand because signals from two more idled tankers shows they are partially loaded or empty.

    If full, the three tankers’ combined capacity of about 6 million barrels is equal to 19 percent of all the crude the U.S. Energy Department estimates is stored in Cushing, Oklahoma, the pricing point for benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil.

    As Iran’s cargoes sit, oil companies and banks are selling crude stored on tankers into the market. The number of ships involved in the “contango” trade, named after the term used to describe a market where future commodity prices are higher than today, declined 16 percent last month, according to data from London-based E.A. Gibson Shipbrokers Ltd. The amount of crude tied up in storage fell 25 percent last week, Morgan Stanley said in a Feb. 7 report.
  2. Northern crude oil transit. Getting ready for future sanctions?

    Iran eyes oil pipeline to Armenia
    Published: Feb. 24, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    TEHRAN, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Iran aims to increase oil exports to northern neighbor Armenia through a 217-mile pipeline, the Iranian deputy oil minister said Wednesday.

    Armenia would receive 70,000 barrels of oil through the proposed Shahnazi-Zadeh pipeline, reports state-funded broadcaster Press TV. The estimated cost for the project is $350 million.

    "The construction of the pipeline and oil terminal would increase the exports of oil products to this northern neighboring country," said Deputy Oil Minister Noureddin Shahnazi-Zadeh.

    No time frame was mentioned for the Armenian oil pipeline.

    Iran sits on some of the largest oil and gas deposits in the world, though refining capacity and economic sanctions prevents the country from full exploitation of its resources.

    The country relies partially on imports, meanwhile, as the mountainous terrain in its northern provinces prevents transits from energy-rich regions in the south of the country.

    Existing infrastructure would allow Iran to import more than 17 billion cubic feet of gas from Azerbaijan each year.

    Baku, however, expressed concern recently that U.S. sanctions targeting the Iranian energy sector could undermine its trade relationship with Tehran.
  3. Economic mismanagement

    IRAN: Ahmadinejad gunning for his own oil minister for disclosing grim numbers
    February 15, 2010 | 2:47 pm


    As if there isn't enough turmoil between Iran's government and the opposition, now President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be stirring up trouble within his own Cabinet.

    The politically moderate Iranian news website Fardanews is reporting (in Farsi) that Minister of Petroleum Masoud Mir-Kazemi is about to dismissed after he infuriated Ahmadinejad with his official report showing a decline in the country's oil output during Ahmadinejad's first term as president, an informed source told the news website.

    "The president has expressed dissatisfaction with this report and he is seeking a replacement now for the oil portfolio," the source told the news website in a report published Monday.

    The ministry oversees the world's third-largest proven oil reserves. Apparently Ahmadinejad wants Seifollah Jashnsaz, head of the National Iranian Oil Company, to take over Mir-Kazemi's position.

    Jashnsaz is willing to toe the line. He recently boasted on state television that Ahmadinejad's administration had attracted much more foreign investment than envisaged in Iran's national economic development plan.

    But Mir-Kazemi drew Ahmadinejad's ire when he acknowledged the government has failed to meet its investment targets.

    "We've failed to even sign memorandums of understanding beyond $20 billion for the current calendar year, let alone signing contracts," the minister said recently. "We should attract $52 billion of foreign investment each year."

    Gholam-Ali Meygolinejad, a Ahmadinejad acolyte in serving in parliament's Energy Committee, has hinted that the oil minister may face a censure motion if he failed to adjust his rhetoric.
  4. Who dares to issue? They will have to buy the issue themselves

    'Iran to issue 5 bln euros of energy bonds'

    A senior Iranian lawmaker has declared that Majlis (Iranian parliament) has authorized the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to issue 5 billion euros of bonds.

    Rapporteur of the Joint Commission of Majlis Mohammad-Mehdi Mofatteh said the foreign currency bonds will be issued in the next Iranian year which begins on March 21.

    "In line with reviewing next year's budget bill, the Joint Commission agreed to allow the National Iranian Oil Company to issue 5 billion euros of foreign currency bonds under the supervision of the Central Bank of Iran," Shana quoted Mofatteh as saying on Saturday.

    He noted that the fund raised through the bonds will be spent to develop the South Pars field projects.

    Earlier this week, the managing director of NIOC had aslo declared that Iran would issue $1 billion of bonds to develop the South Pars field.

    The managing director of NIOC, Seifollah Jashnsaz, had said earlier that the bonds are expected to be issued in the "coming days" since Iran's Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Iran finally reached an agreement on the proposal.

  5. Iran: Falling price of oil 'like an alarm bell ringing'

    Iran has for the first time warned that the sharp drop in crude oil prices would hurt its economy. ShareThis

    Officials said the sharp drop in oil prices could force a revision of Iran's budget and economic policies. They said Iran had based its budget on the price of oil staying above $80 per barrel.

    "Falling oil prices have a considerable risk, and these days the falling price of this strategic product is like an alarm bell ringing," Iranian Deputy Central Bank Gov. Hossein Ghazavi said.

    Officials said Iran, the fourth largest oil producer, has been demanding an immediate and sharp drop in production by OPEC. They said Iran has recruited such countries as Libya and Venezuela to support the cut, opposed by Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the cartel.

    Meanwhile, A U.S. energy major has discovered crude oil in Libya.

    Hess Corp. reported the discovery of oil off the coast of Libya's Sirte Basin. The company said hydrocarbons were found in Area 54, 60 kilometers within the Gulf of Sirte.

    Executives did not detail the extent of the discovery at the well, drilled to a depth of more than 11,000 feet. The Gulf of Sirte has not yet yielded significant quantitites of oil or natural gas.

    Hess maintains interests in Egypt and other countries in Africa.

    Hess maintains interests in Egypt and other countries in Africa.
  6. Russia's largest private oil major said it was suspending an oil project in Iran because of U.S. pressure.

    The LUKoil company issued a statement on Wednesday saying it had stopped further work on the Anaran project “because of the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. government.” It blamed the sanctions for a loss of some $63 million last year and said it feared more losses if it continued to carry on the project.

    The Anaran field, with estimated oil reserves of 2 billion barrels, was operated by a consortium of Norwegian StatoilHydro (75 per cent) and LUKoil Overseas (25 per cent). LUKoil Overseas head Stanislav Kuzyev has clarified that his company retains its rights in the project and would be ready to return “under more favourable economic situation.”

    LUKoil has 1,600 petrol filling stations in the U.S. and last year announced plans to build an oil refinery in the U.S. These investments would be vulnerable to tough sanctions the U.S. imposed on international energy companies operating in Iran.

    The news of the LUKoil pullout came hours after a senior Russian diplomat said “clouds are gathering” over Tehran's reluctance to accept a United Nations offer to replace fuel for an atomic reactor.

    “Iran's position leaves less and less room for diplomatic manoeuvre,” the diplomat told foreign media on condition of anonymity. The diplomat, however, said Russia would not support “paralysing sanctions” that could “punish 70 million Iranians”.

    Late last year Russia's Gazpromneft, an oil subsidiary of the natural gas monopoly Gazprom, signed an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to jointly develop two oil fields in Iran. Gazprom also has an agreement with the NIOC to develop the South Pars gas field and build an oil refinery in Iran.
  7. Iran Bank replacing foreign investors

    TEHRAN (Shana) - Bank Saderat Iran (BSI) will invest up to 12/5 billion euros to develop gas industry projects over the fifth Five Years plan (2010 – 2015), a gas official said here on Saturday.

    In a press conference, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Javad Oji told the reporters that two Memorandum of understandings worth of 3 billion euros have been signed with the Bank Saderat Iran to build one ethane unit at Parsian gas processing plant and another one in order to completion of the BIdboland 2 gas processing plant. Based on the deals the bank would provide 70 percent of the credits while the remaining would be met by NIGC.

    Predicting the cost of NIOC's projects over the next Iranian calendar year 6/8 billion dollars; Mr. Oji said: construction of the ninth gas trunk line, development of Ilam, Jam and Parsian gas processing plants and construction of the remaining part of the second Turkmenistan gas pipline are among the NIGC's most important projects in the coming year.

    Elsewhere in his remarks engineering Oji said two contracts had been signed with domestic companies in order to complete sixth Tehran gas pipeline with a length of 650 km and development of Ilam gas processing plant, saying the two projects would be implemented over the next year.

    Noting that in the last Iranian calendar year 921.724 new subscribers have been added to gas users' network, NIGC's managing director pointed out that number of subscribers rose over the current year (ending on 20 March 2010) that shows a 7.5 percent increase in the subscribers number in comparison with the previous year.

    He remarked that without doubt gas prices would rise in the next year starting on 21 March. He did not reveal the figure but predicted the rises would lead to 25 percent drop in natural gas consumption.
  8. Is this a test

    China imports 40% less crude oil from Iran
    Font Scale:
    27 March 2010 @ 09:24 am BST

    BEIJING (Commodity Online): Chinese crude oil supplies from Iran seems to be squeezing as the Asian dragon's crude oil imports from its third largest supplier, Iran, shrank by nearly 40% in the first 2 months of 2010 against the corresponding period last year.

    Even as the country's economy is thriving and the demand for crude has been rising steadily, the imports have shown a significant fall in the given period.

    According to the Chinese customs data China's third biggest foreign supplier of crude oil last year, Iran has slipped to fourth behind Russia in the first 2 months of 2010. Iran shipped 2.53 million tonnes of crude to China with a fall of 37.2% compared to the first 2 months of 2009.

    China's crude shipments from its biggest supplier and the world's top exporter, Saudi Arabia, rose 5.4% and those from Angola and Russia rose 71.6% and 50.8% respectively to take second and third place. Iran was the only major crude supplier to China to show a fall in deliveries.

    According to market experts, the drop seems to be attributed to the Western powers urging Beijing to approve proposed new United Nations Security Council sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear activities.

    However, industry experts do not see any political pressure to cut Iranian imports. The numbers may nonetheless bolster arguments from Washington and other Western capitals that China can reduce crude from Iran without endangering energy security.
  9. gulf oil prices increasing

    ABU DHABI (Commodity Online) : UAE’s largest oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) followed Saudi Arabia’s Aramco in raising crude oil prices for Asia and US.

    In a statement, Adnoc said it raised March crude selling prices more than 5 percent to the highest since November.

    The Abu Dhabi-based company increased the price for Murban crude, its largest export grade, to $78.30 a barrel. Lower Zakum crude rose the most, adding $4.20 a barrel, or 5.7 percent, to $78.15 a barrel.

    Get a bigger political picture to help you invest

    Adnoc also raised the price for Upper Zakum crude by $3.7 a barrel, or 5.1 percent, to $76.25 a barrel for March, the smallest margin of increase. Umm Shaif crude rose 5.6 percent to $77.80 a barrel, Adnoc said in the statement.

    The U.A.E., holder of almost 8 percent of the world’s oil reserves, is the fourth-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumping 2.3 million barrels of crude a day in March.

    Earlier, Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, raised official selling prices for light crude grades for customers in the U.S. and Asia for May. All prices for crude to Europe will be lower next month.

    The company increased the formula price of its Arab Super Light crude to Asia the most, raising it by $1 a barrel to $2.10 above the Persian Gulf benchmark.

    Aramco set the price for its Extra Light crude oil for May loadings for U.S. buyers at a premium of $1.35 a barrel over the Argus Sour Crude Index, 40 cents higher than April. The discount for shipments of Light-grade crude to the U.S. narrowed 20 cents to 40 cents below ASCI a barrel.

    The price of Medium crude to the U.S. dropped 10 cents to $2.20 a barrel below ASCI, while the heavy crude price fell 30 cents to a $3.60 a barrel discount, Dhahran-based Aramco said.

    Following the move, Iran’s prices, based on Aramco rates, are set to raise, analysts said.
  10. Iran political discountsincreasing

    April 5 (Bloomberg) -- National Iranian Oil Co. is set to cut official selling prices for heavier grades of crude supplied to Asian refiners to 15-month lows after reductions by Saudi Arabia yesterday.

    The state oil company will set Iranian Heavy for May shipments at $1.60 a barrel below the average of Persian Gulf benchmark Oman and Dubai grades, based on a quarterly formula tied to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. prices, which it has followed in the past. That is 10 cents lower than April, bringing the discount to its widest since February 2009.

    Saudi Aramco, as state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil is known, yesterday cut its price for Arab Medium crude to Asia by 10 cents a barrel, according to an e-mailed statement from the Dhahran-based company.

    “I guess they, Aramco, know actual demand for petroleum products hasn’t been so strong,” said Shohei Setoh, a crude trader with Japan Energy Corp. in Tokyo. “Few people think demand is strong enough to support the physical market.”

    National Iranian’s Forozan Blend crude, also linked to Saudi Aramco’s Arab Medium, will probably be lowered for May shipments by 10 cents a barrel to $1.55 below the Oman-Dubai average, based on the formula. Iranian Light is expected to be raised to a 10-cent premium to the benchmark.

    National Iranian will formally announce its prices for the three grades to be supplied to Asia, the Mediterranean, Northwest Europe and South Africa this week, said an official, who asked not to be identified citing company policy. It’s also due to set May prices for Soroush and Norooz grades, which are shipped only to Asia and the Mediterranean.

    The following table shows the prices of Iranian crude oil to be supplied to Asia, as a differential to the average of Oman and Dubai grades, and the month-on-month change. Prices are in dollars a barrel.

    --Editors: John Viljoen, Ryan Woo.
  11. Sanctions

    FACTBOX-Foreign companies stepping away from Iran
    Wed May 12, 2010 3:17pm EDT
    Related News

    * U.S. gave contracts to 7 firms involved in Iran energy
    Wed, May 12 2010
    * UPDATE 1-US gave contracts to 7 firms involved in Iran energy
    Wed, May 12 2010
    * Seven foreign firms in Iran energy got US contracts
    Wed, May 12 2010
    * Factbox: Foreign firms stepping away from Iran
    Tue, May 4 2010
    * Iran's economic woes loom larger than sanctions
    Tue, May 4 2010

    May 12 (Reuters) - A growing number of oil companies, trading houses and other international companies have stopped doing business with Iran this year amid a U.S. drive to isolate Tehran and international efforts to impose tougher sanctions.

    Stocks | Global Markets

    Here are some of the companies:

    * Italy's oil and gas major Eni (ENI.MI) is handing over operatorship of Darkhovin oilfield in Iran to local partners to avoid U.S. sanctions, Eni told U.S. authorities on April 29. Eni, present in Iran since 1957, said it had only residual activities relating to buy-back contracts dating to 2000 and 2001. [ID:nLDE63S0XT]

    * French energy giant Total (TOTF.PA) will cease gasoline sales to Iran if the United States passes legislation to penalize fuel suppliers to Iran, its chief executive said on April 26. [ID:nLDE63P0UZ]

    * Russian oil major LUKOIL (LKOH.MM) will cease gasoline sales to Iran, industry sources said on April 7, following a similar decision by Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) in March. LUKOIL had supplied some 250,000 to 500,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran every other month, traders said. [ID:nLDE636061]

    * Malaysia's Petronas has stopped supplying gasoline to Iran, a company spokesman said on April 15. Petronas last shipped a gasoline cargo into the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on March 4 or 5, industry sources said. [ID:nSGE63E09V]

    * Luxury carmaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE) announced plans on April 14 to sell its 30 percent stake in an Iranian engine maker and freeze the planned export to Iran of cars and trucks. The announcement followed similar action by German insurers Munich Re (MUVGn.DE) and Allianz (ALVG.DE). [ID:nLDE63C0TG]

    * India's largest private refiner, Reliance Industries (RELI.BO), will not renew a contract to import crude oil from Iran for financial year 2010, two sources familiar with the supply deal said on April 1. [ID:nSGE630033]

    * Oil trading firms Trafigura and Vitol are stopping gasoline sales to Iran, industry sources said on March 8. [ID:LDE627129]

    * Ingersoll-Rand Plc (IR.N), a maker of air compressors and cooling systems for buildings and transport, said it will no longer allow subsidiaries to sell parts or products to Tehran. [IDnN09245639]

    * Oilfield services company Smith International (SII.N) said on March 1 it was actively pursuing the termination of all its activities in Iran. [ID:nN01116545]

    * Caterpillar (CAT.N), the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, said on March 1 it had tightened its policy on not doing business with Iran to prevent foreign subsidiaries from selling equipment to independent dealers who resell it to Tehran. [ID:nN01245727]

    * German engineering conglomerate Siemens (SIEGn.DE) said in January it would not accept further orders from Iran. [ID:nLDE60P1LJ]

    * Glencore GLEN.UL ceased gasoline supply to Iran in November 2009, according to traders. The Swiss-based commodities trader in January declined comment on the matter. [ID:nSGE60A0CF]

    * Chemical manufacturer Huntsman Corp (HUN.N) announced in January that its indirect foreign subsidiaries would stop selling products to third parties in Iran.

    * Accounting giants KPMG KPMG.UL, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young have declared themselves free of any business ties to Iran.


    * The website of New York-based lobby group United Against Nuclear Iran lists scores of companies it says still do, or have done, business with Iran. The list includes companies that have severed links with Iran.

    * The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported in April that 41 foreign companies were involved in Iran's oil, natural gas and petrochemical sectors from 2005 to 2009. In a new report on Wednesday, the GAO said seven of those companies received U.S. government contracts worth nearly $880 million.

    These were: Repsol (REP.MC) of Spain; Total; Daelim Industrial Company of South Korea; Eni; PTT Exploration and Production of Thailand; Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea; and GS Engineering and Construction of South Korea.

    * Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM) confirmed in March it was in talks with Iran on developing the Azar oil field. (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit, and Ross Colvin in Washington; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
  12. US double standard

    U.S. gave contracts to 7 firms involved in Iran energy
    Susan Cornwell
    Wed May 12, 2010 3:57pm EDT

    * Factbox: Foreign companies stepping away from Iran
    Wed, May 12 2010

    Related News

    * U.N. resolutions vs Iran "not worth penny": Ahmadinejad
    Wed, May 12 2010

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government, while urging the world to cut business ties with Iran, has given government contracts worth nearly $880 million to seven foreign companies involved in Iran's energy sector in recent years, a report said on Wednesday.

    World | Thailand

    The report by the Government Accountability Office spurred criticism by U.S. lawmakers from both parties. They said the government should not be contracting with companies that help Iran's economy as long as Tehran is pursuing nuclear work that the West suspects is aimed at making a bomb.

    "It is simply unacceptable for the U.S. government to enrich foreign firms that are enriching the extremist, expansionist, terrorist government of Iran," said Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    Foreign companies with big investments in Iran's energy sector can be sanctioned under U.S. law. But Lieberman and others charge this has not been enforced for years, by either Republican or Democratic administrations.

    Both the House of Representatives and Senate have passed legislation to tighten and extend U.S. sanctions on Iran and negotiators are working on merging the bills into one.

    The Obama administration is also pressing other global powers to agree to a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear work. Tehran says that work is for energy needs.

    The GAO report was a follow-on to a report it did in March in which it identified 41 foreign companies that have commercial activity in Iran's energy sector. The new report identified which of those companies had U.S. government contracts from fiscal years 2005 to 2009.


    Most of the contracts were with the Pentagon and were for fuel purchases overseas, Joseph Christoff, the GAO's director of international affairs and trade, told Lieberman's committee. The GAO had not probed whether the company activities were sanctionable under existing U.S. law.

    The seven companies were Repsol of Spain; Total of France; Daelim Industrial Company of South Korea; ENI of Italy; PTT Exploration and Production of Thailand; Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea; and GS Engineering and Construction of South Korea.

    Two of the companies, Repsol and Total, accounted for nearly three-fourths of the $880 million, Christoff said.

    Another, Italy's oil and gas major Eni, is among a number of companies that have recently said they are halting business with Iran as pressure for more sanctions on Tehran grows.

    The Iran Sanctions Act, dating to the mid-1990s, allows for U.S. sanctions on foreign companies that invest more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector over a 12-month period. Such companies can, for example, be banned from U.S. government procurement. But no sanctions have been imposed under the law.

    The State Department is responsible for determining whether companies should be sanctioned, as well as for U.S. diplomacy, and "they tend to weigh one against the other," said Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute think tank.

    Last month the New York Times published its own analysis which found the U.S. government gave $107 billion in contract payments, grants and other benefits over the last 10 years to companies doing business in Iran, including companies in aerospace and carmaking as well as the energy sector.
  13. high stock

    LONDON (Dow Jones)--Iran is storing an estimated 30 million to 38 million barrels of crude oil in floating tankers, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

    "Weaker demand for heavier crudes, unattractive price formulas and the threat of new sanctions have combined to reduce buying interest in the country's heavier, sour crudes," prompting floating storage to nearly double since the end of March, the IEA said.

    Seasonal refinery maintenance in Asia--where Iran sells most of its crude--have also contributed to the crude glut.

    "Volumes at sea may continue to build until refiner demand returns after turnarounds, or NIOCNIOCLoading... [National Iranian Oil Co.] improves its sales terms," the IEA said.

    Iran is unlikely to curtail its oil production, which stood around 3.7 million barrels a day in April, because the country needs to produce near current high levels "in order to maintain gas pressure at aging fields and meet domestic demand."

    Unsold barrels are building up due to a general trend of customers cutting or canceling term crude-oil contracts.

    "Term customers have turned away from Iran in part due to weaker demand for heavier, sour crudes, as well as NIOCNIOCLoading...'s uncompetitive pricing relative to similar quality crudes," the agency said.

    In 2008 when Iran was faced with a similar buildup in floating storage, it took five months to sell off the surplus barrels, the IEA said.

    The agency attributed the rise in floating storage volumes to market fundamentals, rather than ongoing political tension over Iran's nuclear program.

    "Although the threat of further sanctions against the country also intensified this month, it is difficult to draw a direct line to the growing stockpile of crude inventories, which remains largely a marketing issue," the IEA said.

    "Looming sanctions, however, do help to explain the country's shrinking list of gasoline suppliers," it added.

    -By Lananh Nguyen, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20-7842-9479;

    (END) Dow Jones Newswires

    12-05-10 0939GMT
  14. Will Shell and Repsol make official statement

    Iran warns Shell, Repsol on investment delay

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    TEHRAN, Iran

    European oil giants Shell and Repsol have been given two weeks to decide on their investments in a massive Iranian gas project or be replaced by domestic companies, a top Iranian oil official said Monday.

    "The oil ministry has already given Shell and Repsol a deadline," Reza Kasaeizadeh, the head of the National Gas Exporting Company was quoted as telling the semiofficial Mehr news agency.

    Kasaeizadeh said the Spanish and Anglo-Dutch companies have been in negotiations with Iran on their role in developing phases 13 and 14 of the South Pars gas project for "a long time," but they "have not entered into the final decision-making phase on investment yet."

    "Iran will replace the two with Iranian companies if they do not move soon," he said.

    Western oil companies have been leery of following through on energy projects in Iran, worried they could face punitive measures for dealing with a nation under sanction over its controversial nuclear program.

    The U.S. for years has barred oil companies from significant investments in Iran's oil sector, and efforts to ramp up the sanctions, both in the U.S. and on the international level, have further rattled companies.

    In February, the chief executive of Italian oil major Eni SpA said the company will pull out of Iran after contracts to develop two gas fields there run out.

    In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Eni said while it sanctions have not been placed so far on its operations in Iran, "Eni cannot predict interpretations of, or the implementation policy of the U.S. Government under (the Iran Sanctions Act) with respect to Eni's current or future activities in Iran or other areas."

    Repsol and Shell, as well as France's Total SA, were among a list of 41 companies identified by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in April as having commercial activity in Iran's oil and gas sector. The GAO report was linked to a congressional effort to expand U.S. sanctions to penalize companies that supply gasoline or other refined products to Iran.

    The oil companies' concerns are worrisome for Iran.

    The nation -- the second largest exporter within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries -- has struggled to lure in foreign investment into its energy sector.

    Officials have estimated Iran needs more than $200 billion to develop the vital sector, but have also voiced concerns about where they will be able to raise the money amid mounting calls for additional sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

    Western nations, led by the United States, maintain the nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons while Iran, refuting the claims, says it is for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity.

    Kasaeizadeh said Repsol and Shell "are required to decide on their contracts in South Pars gas project within two weeks."

    "For decision-making on investment, we should not to wait for foreigners," he said.

    Much of the recent interest Iran has seen in its oil sector has come from Russian or Chinese companies which analysts say lack the necessary technical expertise to develop a project as vital as the South Pars field.

    The field's development has been repeatedly delayed over the past few years because of reluctance by Western firms to fully commit to the project over the sanctions concerns.
  15. Seewhat is happening to BP in the US. Soft power of US consumers
  16. Iran oil losing manpower due to low wages-daily
    Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:27am GMT

    TEHRAN June 12 (Reuters) - Iran is facing a crisis in its vital oil industry due to the emigration of its expert manpower to countries offering much higher wages and benefits, a senior lawmaker said in the daily Qods newspaper on Saturday.

    "Unfortunately, the outpouring of the cream of the crop and experts with high academic credentials in oil companies is very high," said Emad Hosseini, spokesman of parliament's energy committee.

    He said up to 60 percent of expert workers in the state oil industry have already left the country.

    Hosseini attributed the exodus to the low wages which amount to about one-fifth of what an oil industry worker would in similar jobs in other Gulf countries or in the West.

    He said unless the government changes laws to allow the oil industry to pay higher wages the remaining specialist oil industry workers will leave the country.

    Qolam-Reza Manouchehri, an oil industry expert now serving as the managing director of the state-owned Petropars Oil and Gas Co, said the disparity in wages was even greater.

    "Presently, the difference in wage and benefits between those of expert Iranian oil workers compared to those paid by foreign companies is about one to 10," said Manouchehi, who also attributed the low wages to restrictive laws.

    Another possible reason for a brain drain in the industry is that since Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, promising to fight what he called the "oil mafia", most reformist-minded officials have been pushed to resign.

    Manouchehi said that without speedy changes to the law in support of domestic experts, the attraction of working for foreign companies will create a serious shortage in the oil industry.
    OPEC member Iran is the world's fourth biggest oil producer with the globes's second largest gas reserves but has struggled for years to develop its oil and gas reserves.

    The Islamic republic says it needs around $25 billion a year in oil and gas industry investment.

    A new round of U.N. sanctions to squeeze Iran over its uranium enrichment activities, and likely tougher measures from the United States and the European Union, might make it tougher to attract foreign capital.

    (Writing by Hashem Kalantari; Edited by William Hardy)
  17. EU set to target Iranian oil and gas investment
    Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:37am GMT

    * Sanctions proposals would focus on energy sector - draft

    * Measures would hit oil and gas investment, technology

    * EU expected to move ahead with restrictions in July

    By Luke Baker

    BRUSSELS, June 11 (Reuters) - Parts of Iran's oil and gas industry could be targeted by an extra layer of European Union sanctions, according to a document prepared for EU leaders.

    The measures would not restrict Iranian oil and gas exports or imports but would seek to shut off new investment in the industry, as well as the transfer of technology, equipment and services to a sector that is economically vital to Iran.

    Iran is the world's fifth largest crude oil exporter.

    The EU restrictions, which would go substantially beyond the sanctions agreed by the United Nations Security Council this week, are contained in a draft declaration prepared for a summit of EU heads of state and government in Brussels on June 17.

    The declaration expresses "deep regret that Iran has not taken the many opportunities" to assuage international concerns about its nuclear programme, particularly given its decision to enrich uranium to levels that bring it closer to weapons-grade.

    "Under these circumstances, new restrictive measures have become inevitable," says the draft obtained by Reuters, which could be subject to change before it is issued.

    It says the measures should focus on trade, especially dual-use goods, and further restrictions on trade insurance and Iran's financial sector, including freezing additional Iranian banks and insurance firms.

    "The transport sector, in particular the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) and air cargo; key sectors of the gas and oil industry with prohibition of new investment, transfers of technologies, equipment and services; and new visa bans and asset freezes, especially on the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps)," the draft statement says.

    The declaration, if issued in its current form, would go further than some EU states, including Spain and Cyprus, had indicated they would be willing to go. Germany was also seen as reluctant to target anything in Iran's oil and gas sector.


    The move coincides with efforts by the U.S. Congress to draw up additional measures against Iran.

    It is designed to put extra pressure on Tehran to return to negotiations over its uranium enrichment programme, which the West believes is aimed at developing nuclear weapons but Iran says is purely for peaceful purpose.

    The measures are also designed to add bite to Wednesday's U.N. sanctions package, parts of which were watered down by Russian and Chinese opposition. The impact of the package was also weakened by Turkish and Brazilian votes against it.

    If the declaration is approved, EU leaders will ask their foreign ministers to move ahead with implementing the extra restrictions at a meeting in July.

    The rapid push for tighter measures on Iran is part of an EU-US effort to bring Iran back to the negotiating table. It is accompanied by statements saying the EU and the United States are ready to talk to Iran.

    Catherine Ashton, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, has the backing of the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China -- the six powers behind the U.N. sanctions package -- to try to reengage with Iran's leaders.

    She has said repeatedly she would be willing to meet Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, at any time, as long as the nuclear programme is on the agenda and the discussions do not obstruct the U.N. sanctions process.

    Iran has described the U.N. sanctions as a "used handkerchief" and said they will not halt its uranium enrichment work. Turkey and Brazil, which have negotiated with Iran in recent months, also dismissed the sanctions as a mistake.

    For more on Iran's plans, double-click on

    (Reporting by Luke Baker; editing by Noah Barkin)
  18. Disrupt Iran's Oil Trade, Aid the Green Movement

    by Mark Dubowitz and Benjamin Weinthal

    Conventional wisdom has it that imposing harsher energy sanctions on the Iranian regime will have little effect on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the entity largely responsible for Iran's illicit nuclear program and for the brutal crackdown on Iran's pro-democracy green movement last June.

    Yet European political elites, as well as energy and engineering companies, are callously—and conveniently—ignoring divestment pleas from those Iranian democracy advocates. A growing number of key opinion-makers and activists in the green movement support biting sanctions on the Iranian energy sector. They believe sanctions would strengthen Iran's struggling democratic movement and exert greater pressure on the Iranian regime's unlawful nuclear-enrichment program.

    While prominent green leaders like Mir Hossein Mousavi have publicly opposed sanctions for what appear to be tactical reasons—to allow them to condemn the regime for the decisions that led to sanctions—other Iranian dissidents and activists now welcome robust penalties against the energy sector.

    Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a distinguished Iranian film director who serves as a sort of spokesman for the green movement, neatly captured the urgent need to increase global economic pressure on Iran. "The revolutionary guards are terrorists. They are in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. They tortured people in Iran. They rape people in prisons. If you explain to the Iranian people that you are sanctioning their enemies, they will support you," he told the Guardian.

    Makhmalbaf is not a voice in the wilderness. Iranian experts and analysts confirm that, in private conversations, green movement activists implore the international community to take greater pains to influence the regime's behavior. In view of the potential consequences, these activists are understandably reticent—they know the regime would blame them for any additional sanctions.

    (The green movement may also have a decision-making mechanism that requires key decisions to be made unanimously, to preserve unity in the face of overwhelming pressure from the regime. Sanctions are not without controversy, so it is not surprising that there are internal disagreements on their utility.)

    Yet, such a debate over the legitimacy and efficacy of sanctions is not without precedent. In the 1980s, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other activists initially opposed sanctions against the apartheid regime for fear that they would harm black South Africans. They reversed their position when they saw that sanctions would marginalize and undermine the government that was oppressing them.

    The Iranian regime is now ripe for a similar sort of campaign, having reached a point where the harder it cracks down on democratic activists, the less support it enjoys, even among conservative elites. In May, the mullahs led a wave of imprisonments and executions of labor union activists and dissidents, killing Farzad Kamangar, a 35-year-old teacher and member of the Teachers' Trade Association of Kurdistan, for the transgression of "enmity against God." The crackdown has increased support for the pro-democracy movement.

    The clerics' bloody suppression of widespread demonstrations in the wake of the fraudulent June 2009 presidential election has created the preconditions for a transformation of Iranian life, encouraging steely resolve among disenfranchised groups from labor unionists to Iranian women, who are increasingly rejecting the regime's efforts to police their appearance. The Iranian regime has less political legitimacy than ever. What else can Western politicians and corporations do to advance the cause of democracy in Iran?

    One answer is to deny the regime the resources it needs to run the massive energy sector that provides the regime with its lifeblood.

    Iran is an energy superpower. It is the world's fourth-largest producer of crude oil. Oil-export revenues constitute more than 24 percent of Iran's gross domestic product, according to Government Accountability Office estimates, and provide between 50 percent and 76 percent of government revenues. Iran's natural gas reserves, some 981 trillion cubic feet, are the world's second-largest after Russia's. The country already enjoys substantial international leverage thanks to oil. Once it becomes a major exporter of natural gas, it will have exponentially more wealth and power.

    Yet one of Iran's most serious vulnerabilities is its dependence on foreign energy sources. As a result of its limited refining capabilities—a consequence of U.S. sanctions—the Islamic republic must import approximately 30 percent of its annual domestic oil consumption from foreign suppliers. For the United States and its allies, this heavy dependence represents a significant opportunity to ratchet up the pressure on the regime.

    U.S. efforts to ban foreign energy investment in Iran began with the passage of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, which authorized sanctions against foreign firms that invest more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector in any single year. To date, however, no U.S. president has sanctioned even one of the scores of companies that are in violation of the legislation for fear of provoking an anti-American backlash from countries like China, Russia, Germany, France, Austria, India, Japan, or South Korea, which are major players in the Iranian oil and gas sector.

    But the legislation has still had an impact. The mere threat of sanctions has hung over the energy industry like the sword of Damocles and, as a Congressional Research Service report put it, "constrained Iran's energy sector significantly."

    During Ahmadinejad's first four years in office, foreign investment in the Iranian energy sector plummeted by 64 percent, from $4.2 billion to $1.5 billion. The threat of sanctions poisoned the air, and Ahmadinejad replaced a number of competent energy technocrats with regime loyalists, including Republican Guard officials who had no prior experience in the energy industry. Iranian officials now say that without an annual investment of at least $25 billion, Iran could become a net importer of oil.

    More recently, Congress has set its sights on Iran's vulnerability to interruptions in its gasoline supply. The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, which passed the House in December 2009 and the Senate this January and is now being finalized in conference committee, is expected to pass in late June. The bill would authorize sanctions on any entity that provides, or helps Iran to obtain, refined petroleum. The conference committee may also add more teeth to the bill by establishing punitive measures against firms that provide critical technology and support for Iran's oil and natural gas sectors and by banning Iranian involvement in foreign energy projects.

    Some characterize energy sanctions as a silver bullet that would cripple Iran's economy, driving an angry Iranian public to rally around the flag. Others call sanctions a pinprick that would do little to Iranian leaders and merely enrich Chinese and Russian energy firms at the expense of European and American ones.

    Both views are wrong: Energy sanctions are an extension of a comprehensive strategy to weaken the Iranian regime and fan the flames of domestic discontent. Whether by denying the regime much-needed capital and technology or by curtailing its access to the financing it needs to develop its energy sector, the strategy has already shown some success. An increasing number of international energy and energy-related firms have left Iran or announced their intention to do so. Still, without indications of the Obama administration's commitment to enforce sanctions, many of these companies may decide to resume their Iranian business activities.

    Many Iranians despise the regime not only for its human-rights abuses but also for its incompetence in managing the national economy, where inflation and unemployment are running in the double digits. They are furious that the regime has squandered Iran's dwindling energy wealth and allowed the Revolutionary Guards and their Chinese and Russian enablers to steal what remains.

    Despite the regime's attempts to blame these economic problems on the sanctions policies of the United States, many, if not most, Iranians blame their leaders. In November 2008, a group of 60 Iranian economists publicly criticized Ahmadinejad for his "tension-inducing" foreign policy, which had "scared off foreign investment and inflicted heavy damage on the economy."

    A recent Iranian government decision to end gasoline subsidies in order to reduce the country's vulnerability to refined-petroleum sanctions may also drive up already high inflation rates. In late May, as Iran continued to suffer an economic crisis, Iranians disrupted a typically choreographed pro-Ahmadinejad speech with heckles of "We are unemployed!"

    As Iranians take to the streets to mark the first anniversary of the June 12 democracy uprising, they will once again face off against the Revolutionary Guards and their Basij paramilitary thugs.

    Iranians who yearn for democracy would be heartened if additional sanctions proved unnecessary and the country's energy partners were more mindful of their own best interests. By conducting business with the current Iranian regime, these companies are taking considerable risks with their stockholders' money. And, fairly or not, Iranians may come to believe that these companies are fueling the regime that represses them.

    It may seem counterintuitive for citizens to support sanctions against their own country, but as Desmond Tutu and his compatriots showed, sometimes they are a people's best hope for a more just and democratic government.
  19. Shell back in Iranian energy sector?
    Published: June 7, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    TEHRAN, June 7 (UPI) -- Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell moved back into the Iranian energy sector as new sanctions develop against the resource-rich country, a report says.

    The International Oil Daily reported that Shell sent three shipments containing around 30,000 tons of gasoline each to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in May.

    Shell, Swiss oil trading giant Vitol, BP and Reliance of India announced in March that they would stop dealing with Iran, presumably from U.S. pressure over Iran's controversial nuclear activity.

    Shell had expressed interest in developing the giant South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.

    Iran in May, however, replaced Shell and Spanish energy company Repsol with the Revolutionary Guard-owned Khatam al-Anbiya at two South Par development projects.

    Shell last delivered gasoline to Iran in October.

    U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile, are lingering over tighter sanctions against Iran as the White House pushes for new measures at the U.N. Security Council.

    Companies doing more than $20 million worth of business in the Iranian energy sector are subject to a ban from U.S. federal contracts under the Iran Sanctions Act.
  20. افت محسوس خرید نفت ایران از سوی شرکتهای اروپایی

    ایران روزانه 1 میلیون و هفتصد هزار بشکه نفت خام به 8 کشور آسیایی و اروپایی می فروشد.

    به گزارش عصر ایران خبرگزاری رویترز میزان صادرات نفت خام کشورمان در سال جاری را به طور میانگین رقمی معادل 1 میلیون و هفتصد هزار بشکه اعلام کرده که به 8 کشور عمده آسیایی و اروپایی صادر شده است .

    از این میزان مشتریان عمده نفت ایران در آسیا 4 کشور چین ، ژاپن ، هند و کره جنوبی هستند که این کشورها مجموعا روزانه 1 میلیون و چهارصد و شصت و دو هزار بشکه از ایران نفت می خرند .

    در اروپا هم 3 کشور اسپانیا ، پرتغال ، یونان به علاوه کشور دوگانه (آسیایی - اروپایی) ترکیه روزانه رقمی معادل 238 هزار بشکه (در مجموع) از ایران نفت وارد می کنند .

    خبرگزاری رویترز می نویسد که در مقایسه میزان خرید پالایشگاه ها و شرکت های اروپایی از ایران در سال 2008 و سال جاری ، شاهد افت محسوس خرید شرکت های اروپایی از ایران هستیم .

    این خبرگزاری می افزاید که در سال 2008 شرکت ها و پالایشگاه های اروپایی مجموعا به طور روزانه 608 هزار بشکه نفت خام از ایران وارد می کردند که این رقم در سال منتهی به ماه جاری میلادی به 238 هزار بشکه نفت کاهش یافته است .

    آمار فروش روزانه نفت خام به شرکت های عمده خریدار نفت ایران به شرح زیر است :

    آسیا : رقم مجموع فروش نفت = 1 میلیون و چهارصد و شصت و دو هزار بشکه

    1- شرکت ژوهی ژنرونگ ( چین ) 240 هزار بشکه

    2- شرکت سینوپک ( چین ) 200 هزار بشکه

    3- ام آر پی ال ( هند ) 130 هزار بشکه

    4- نیپون اویل ( ژاپن ) 120 هزار بشکه

    5- شوا شل ( ژاپن ) 120 هزار بشکه

    6- اس کی انرژی ( کره جنوبی) 120 هزار بشکه

    7- هوندا اویل بانک ( کره جنوبی ) 70 هزار بشکه

    8- تویوتا تسوشو ( ژاپن ) 50 هزار بشکه

    9- اسار اویل ( هند ) 50 هزار بشکه

    10- کوسمو اویل ( ژاپن) 45 هزار بشکه

    11- ژاپن انرژی ( ژاپن) 75 هزار بشکه

    12- آی او سی ( ....) 35 هزار بشکه

    13- اچ پی سی ال ( هند ) 60 هزار بشکه

    14- میتسوی ( ژاپن ) 15 هزار بشکه

    15- میتسوبیشی ( ژاپن) 35 هزار بشکه

    16- ایتوچو ( ژاپن ) 5 هزار بشکه

    17- بی پی سی ال ( هند ) 5 هزار بشکه

    18- کانه ماتسو ( ژاپن ) 15 هزار بشکه

    19- ایده میتسو کوسان ( ژاپن ) 12 هزار بشکه

    20 – ماروبنی ( ژاپن ) 10 هزار بشکه

    21- اسار اویل ( هند ) 50 هزار بشکه

    شرکت های اروپایی : مجموع فروش نفت ایران = 238 هزار بشکه

    1- توپراس ( ترکیه ) 63 هزار بشکه

    2- سپسا ( اسپانیا ) 25 هزار بشکه

    3- هلنیک ( یونان ) 60 هزار بشکه

    4- رپسول ( اسپانیا ) 80 هزار بشکه

    5- پترو گال ( پرتغال ) 10 هزار بشکه

    نکته تأمل برانگیز این که بنا به گزارش رسانه های غربی میزان تولید نفت ایران در سال جاری با کاهش 400 هزار بشکه ای روبرو بوده است و این در حالی است که کشورهایی چون عربستان برای افزایش تولید نفت خام ، اعلام آمادگی کرده اند و عراق نیز در ماه های گذشته از برنامه افزایش قابل توجه صادرات نفت در طی 5 سال آینده خبر داده است .

    به نظر می رسد در صورتی که ایران نتواند تکنولوژی و سرمایه لازم را برای افزایش تولید و حفظ جایگاه کنونی خود در بازار جهانی نفت جذب کند با ادامه روند کنونی جایگاهی برای کشورمان در بازار آینده نفت خام متصور نخواهد بود.

    در این میان ، با توجه به مشتریان محدود نفت ایران ، این نگرانی به طور جدی می تواند مطرح باشد که ممکن است تمام یا برخی از این کشورها ، بنا به دلایل سیاسی ، خریدهای نفت خود را معطوف به دیگر فروشندگان کنند و ایران با مشکل صادرات و نهایتاً درآمد ارزی مواجه شود.
  21. ژاپن و کره جنوبی هم به اردوگاه ضد رژیم پیوستند

    ژاپن و کره جنوبی نیز به صف کشورهایی پیوستند که علاوه بر قطعنامه تحریم شورای امنیت ، خود تحریم های جداگانه ای را علیه جمهوری اسلامی اعمال می کنند.

    به گزارش عصر ایران به نقل از روزنامه واشنگتن پست، کره جنوبی و ژاپن نیز قصد دارند تحریم های مضاعفی را علیه ایران اعمال کنند اما هنوز معلوم نیست ، خود تحریم های مستقلی را وضع و اعمال خواهند کرد یا اینکه از تحریم های مستقل و مضاعف استرالیا، آمریکا و اتحادیه اروپا پیروی خواهند کرد.

    پس از اقدام شورای امنیت در تصویب قطعنامه 1929 و تایید تحریم های جدید علیه ایران، کشورهای استرالیا و آمریکا و اتحادیه اروپا ، تحریم های مستقل و مضاعفی را علیه جمهوری اسلامی اعلام کردند.

    به نوشته این روزنامه، کشورهای دیگری نیز به این تحریم های خار ج از چارچوب شورای امنیت نیز پیوسته اند که هنوز نام آنها اعلام نشده است.

    واشنگتن پست اضافه می کند: تحریم های مضاعف و مستقل کشورهای مختلف علیه ایران، در راستای سیاست دولت آمریکاست. براساس این شیوه، آمریکا و هم پیمانانش ، تصویب قطعنامه تحریم های سبک علیه تهران را در شورای امنیت می پذیرند ولی هر یک به تنهایی و جداگانه، تحریم های شدیدتری را علیه ایران اعمال می کنند.
  22. صادرات نفت از بنادر 25 درصد کاهش یافت

    روزنامه آرمان: صادرات نفت از بنادر کشور در دو ماهه اول امسال نسبت به مدت مشابه سال قبل حدود 25درصد کاهش یافت. بر اساس آمارهای سازمان بنادر و دریانوردی میزان صادرات نفت از بنادر کشور در حالی به یک میلیون و 840 هزار تن رسید که در مدت مشابه سال قبل این میزان بیش از 2میلیون و 451هزار تن بود.
  23. jadt65 Member

    This is a google transaltion of the post above

    If someone can provide a more accurate translation, please post & I will delete this.;)
  24. conchosunwi Member

    Xã Tân Mỹ dog $ a 1 b ừ /

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