Iran to spend $250Bn on oil and gas projects

Iran is to spend $250bn on oil and gas projects in the upstream and downstream sectors in the next five years according to former NITC chief Mohammad Souri, speaking at a seminar last week on business opportunities in Dubai.

National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) and National Iranian Gas Co. (NIGC) control 18% of the world’s oil and 9% of the world’s gas respectively and are contemplating around 50 projects, said Souri, currently chairman and md, Vesta Tamin International, and advisor to Iran's Minister of Petroleum.

Speaking at the seminar organised by Fichte and Co. Legal Services, Souri said clarity on domestic oil projects would be forthcoming upon implementation of the Iranian Petroleum Contract, details of which would be revealed in March-April.

In his position as former ceo of NITC, Souri is well-versed with the requirements of fleet expansion and said both NITC and IRISL have ambitions to build new vessels such as containerships, bulk carriers, chemical carriers, LNG and LPG ships, and various sizes of crude oil and product carriers, with announcements having been made by both companies.

According to NITC’s web page, “NITC, in observance of IMO regulations, has a huge project for replacing tankers, including the construction and purchase of 25 tankers with total capacity of 6m tons.”

The new head of Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) was quoted on the company’s website as saying that a major Iranian fleet expansion programme would include “579,000 teu of containerships, 2m dwt of dry bulk vessels and 1.6m dwt of tankers.”

Iran is also planning to upgrade existing ship building yards, especially at Bandar Abbas, to construct all types of vessels, including offshore ships, drilling rigs, platforms, oil and gas jackets, Souri said. “There is huge demand for marine finance and related services.”

Iran’s petrochemical industry is creating international interest, particularly among Chinese, Indian and Taiwanese companies, who are setting up companies near port and gas facilities, because it largely resides in the private sector. Today, total annual production stands at about 65m tons, although there are plans to increase this to around 123m tons in the next five years, he said.

Officials from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) told Seatrade Maritine News they would be conducting a mission to Iran next week armed with a $4bn fund targeting the global shipping industry.

“Hopefully banks will very shortly one-by-one resume relations,” said Souri. “Billions in funding are required.”


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