Friday, June 26, 2015

super majors eager to get between the sheets with iran

HuffPo |  Western companies including Shell and BP have already shown interest to re-enter Iran's oil market as soon as a final nuclear deal is reached and issues of economic and banking hurdles are resolved.

After several decades, this is the first time that Western super-major oil and gas corporations are openly and publicly expressing their interest to access Iran which enjoys the world's second-largest natural-gas and fourth-biggest oil reserves.

Iranian leaders will attempt to use the short term nuclear deal as a platform to seal long term oil contracts, which will institutionalize the profits for many years to come. This will make it more difficult for sanctions to snap back in case Iran defied the terms of nuclear deal. Iran's oil ministry is looking for roughly $200 billion investment in order to revive and rehabilitate its oil industry. Iran has been publicizing and circulating its oil and business contracts. As Zanganeh stated, the new contracts are "long-term, with better situations, rather than the previous framework that we have."

In closing, unprecedentedly, both Western oil and gas companies and Iran hardliners are openly expressing interest in cooperating with each other, as Iran will gain legitimacy from the final nuclear deal.

This suggests two crucial issues. First of all, OPEC members ought to be prepared and chart ways for Iran's full return to the oil market. As an Iranian delegate pointed out "Iran is telling other OPEC members to get ready for its return". Iran is planning to boost exports by one million barrels a day after sanction are lifted. Currently, Iran's oil production is roughly 2.7 million barrels a day and it oil exports is approximately 1 million barrels a day. Secondly, the international community. and particularly the US, needs to have a strategy pre-planned for Iran's economic return, which will boost Tehran's geopolitics and the IRGC's influence in the region. So far, the Obama administration does not appear to have any particular strategy to rein Iran's economic return.