Iran’s major oil customers, energy partners

June 8, 2009
Following are some details about Iran’s principal energy partners and joint projects: ASIA: * JAPAN - Biggest single buyer of Iran’s crude. Imported 519,518 barrels per day (bpd) in Q1 2009. Iran was Japan’s third-largest supplier. -- INVESTMENT -- Japan’s INPEX holdings saw its 75 percent stake in Iran’s huge Azadegan oilfield cut to 10 percent in 2006 when talks fell through on a development plan. * CHINA - Second-largest buyer of Iran’s oil. Imported 484,093 bpd in Q1 2009. Iran is China’s second-largest crude supplier. -- China’s state-run Zhuhai Zhenrong, which started buying oil from Iran more than a decade ago and was among the first buyer to heed Tehran’s call to pay in euro instead of U.S. dollars, has extended its agreement with National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) to import 240,000 bpd of crude for 2009. -- Top refiner Sinopec Corp. has agreed to import 150,000-160,000 bpd of Iranian crude this year, unchanged from 2008. -- INVESTMENT -- China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a $4.7 billion contract with a Chinese state firm on Wednesday to develop a phase of South Pars, replacing France’s Total. -- CNPC is in talks with Iran for $3.6 billion deal to buy LNG from Phase 14 of South Pars project. CNPC is also in talks to explore and develop energy reserves in Iran’s Caspian. -- Chinese oil firm China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) signed a deal with the NIOC on Jan. 14, 2009 to develop the north Azadegan oilfield. The deal is worth $2 billion in its first phase. Under the first phase lasting 48 months, the capacity would reach 75,000 barrels per day (bpd). The tenure of the project is 12 years. -- China’s Sinopec Group finalised a $2 billion pact to develop Iran’s huge Yadavaran field in December 2007. -- The China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is in talks to finalise a $16 billion dealt to develop the North Pars gas field and build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant. * INDIA - India imported 426,360 bpd of Iran’s oil in the fiscal year 2008/09, or 9.5 percent more crude versus a year earlier. Iran was India’s second-largest supplier. India supplies much of Iran’s imported oil gasoline and diesel. -- INVESTMENT -- India’s ONGC, IOC and Oil India Ltd are in talks to invest $3 billion to develop gas reserves at the Farsi block. ONGC and the Hinduja group are negotiating for a role in Azadegan oilfield development and to buy gas from South Pars. ONGC is also in talks to develop Caspian oil and gas reserves. -- India had been part of the $7 billion so-called “peace pipeline” project, but stayed away from talks in September saying it wanted to agree transit costs through Pakistan on a bilateral basis first. * MALAYSIA - Malaysia’s SKS group signed a gas deal worth $14 billion with NIOC in December 2008. The deal involves a project to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the development of two gas fields, Golshan and Ferdows. Exports of crude and 120,000 barrels of gas condensates are also part of the agreement. * INDONESIA - State oil firm Pertamina said in March a refinery joint venture project with Iran may be delayed until 2016 from 2010. In 2006, Pertamina’s unit PT Elnusa signed a preliminary deal with National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company to build a 300,000-barrels-per-day oil refinery in Indonesia, which was expected to be completed in 2010. * PAKISTAN - Iranian news agencies reported last month that Iran and Pakistan had signed a framework agreement to export Iranian natural gas to Pakistan. * SOUTH KOREA - Imported up to 244,989 bpd of Iran’s oil in the first quarter 2009. Iran was South Korea’s fourth-largest supplier. * TAIWAN - Imported 82,411 bpd of Iran’s oil in the first quarter of 2009. Iran was Taiwan’s third-largest supplier. * RUSSIA - Russia is building Iran’s first nuclear power plant and supplying the fuel it will use. -- INVESTMENT -- Russia state controlled energy giant Gazprom GAXP.MM agreed in February to take on new projects in Iran, including a bigger role in South Pars and drilling for oil. Gazprom has invested about $4 billion in Iran since 2007 and was involved in an earlier phase at South Pars. EUROPE: * AUSTRIA - Austria’s biggest energy company OMV is leading a consortium planning to build the Nabucco pipeline to carry gas from Turkey to Austria through Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary by 2013. Europe wants the pipeline to diversify supplies and ease dependence on Russia but without Iran, it will be difficult to fill the $8 billion pipeline. FRANCE - Oil giant Total was replaced by China’s CNOC of the South Pars field but the project has been overshadowed by haggling over contract terms and international political tension. * ITALY - Italy’s oil and gas group Eni is leading the $1 billion second phase development of the Darkhovin oilfield development to take output to 160,000 bpd from 50,000 bpd. Italian power utility Edison and NIOC signed a $107 million exploration contract in January 2008 to help develop the Dayyer offshore block in the Persian Gulf. * GERMANY - In 2006, Germany’s ABB Lummus signed a $512 million contract with NIOC and a consortium of Iranian companies to develop the Bandar Abbas refinery. The group intends to raise gasoline production to 13 million litres per day from 4.8 million litres currently. * POLAND - Polish gas monopoly PGNiG has signed a preliminary deal with Iran’s Offshore Oil Company to cooperate on managing already-discovered gas reserves. * SPAIN - Repsol had planned to participate with Shell in developing South Pars and building an LNG plant, but Shell pulled out last year. Iran had given a May 20 deadline for Shell and Repsol to clarify their involvement in the project. * SWITZERLAND - Swiss energy group EGL signed a 25-year gas purchase deal worth over $13 billion with Iran last year. * TURKEY - Turkey signed a preliminary deal in November 2008 for gas to be exported to Europe through Turkey and for Turkey to produce gas in the South Pars field. The investment would amount to $3.5 billion. * UNITED KINGDOM - Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has pulled out of Phase 13 of the giant South Pars gas field last year but said it may yet join later stages of the field’s development. (Source: Reuters)