US sanctions hurting American oil companies: Iran

Deputy oil minister says American companies missing out on bidding for tenders in Islamic Republic, as Asian and European players explore opportunities

Iran has recently announced that it will hold Islamic Republic’s first tender in mid-February.
Iran has recently announced that it will hold Islamic Republic’s first tender in mid-February.

Iran has imposed no restrictions on US oil and gas companies willing to participate in energy projects in the country, but American sanctions make such cooperation impossible, Iran’s deputy oil minister has said.

“Iran has not imposed any restrictions on the US companies, but they cannot participate in our (oil and gas) tenders due to the US laws,” Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

“Based on the US Congress sanctions, American oil companies cannot work in Iran,” he added.

Iran has also recently announced that it will hold Islamic Republic’s first tender in mid-February since the lifting of international sanctions to develop oil and natural gas fields.

OPEC’s No. 3 oil producer hopes to draw foreign companies to invest in the country and boost output after years of under-investment. However, foreign firms have so far made little inroads into the country despite the lifting of sanctions.

President Donald Trump’s new US administration on Februay 3 imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, which it said were just initial steps. It said Washington would no longer turn a “blind eye” to Iran’s hostile actions.

Dismissing the new sanctions, Zamaninia said “such actions have had no effect, and international companies are still keen to do business with Iran.”

European and Asian oil and gas companies have been expressing strong interest and/or signing preliminary agreements with Iran to work on projects and contracts in the country, since the lifting of international sanctions.

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