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Friday, 30 October 2015 15:30

Caspian countries give preference to the non-oil sector Featured

Caspian countries give preference to the non-oil sector

Development of the non-oil sector was a driving force of development of the Caspian states. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan continued implementing reforms aimed at diffusing the impact on business.  Amid the decline of oil quotations, oil production is falling in certain Caspian states as well. Nevertheless, upstream projects on delivery of gas volumes to the global markets (both to the West and East) are being developed. Iran is considering all scenarios of FEC development at the post-sanction period.

 

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan continued implementing a policy aimed at development of the non-oil sector. The documents, which put a two year moratorium on business inspection, were approved within a week. A mortgage fund was created. An issue on facilitation of customs inspections was clarified. Gas and electricity control bodies were ordered to stop inspections.

On October 26 President Ilham Aliyev approved a Law about moratorium on business inspection. According to the document, inspections in the field of entrepreneurship have been stopped for two years. The law will gain force since November 1, 2015. According to the law, business inspections have been stopped except for tax inspection, inspections concerning enhancement of safety of life and health of people, state and economic security. These inspections should be carried out in the limited regime. Businessmen can lodge a complaint for violations in the authorized body of the executive power via prosecution agencies and courts. The Head of State of Azerbaijan also approved a list of inspections which can be carried out within this two-year period of moratorium on inspections in the field of entrepreneurship. 

On the other hand, at the meeting on 30 October the collegium of the Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan decided to suspend from today checks by the supervisory bodies on objects of entrepreneurial activity. According to the statement, the matter concerns checks by the State Gas Control Office and State Energy Control Office.

The number of inspections at state enterprises should be reduced, Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Natig Aliyev said at the meeting. “Inspections should be carried out to ensure compliance with technical specifications, technical security and protection of public health,” the minister said. According to him, “those, who abuse their authority and violate the law, will be dismissed from their posts.”

The collegium also discussed preparation of rules for justification of future checks. For example, the statement says, “If inspection is required, it must be reconciled with the Ministry of Economy and Industry of Azerbaijan.”

Apart from this, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed the Decree to establish the Azerbaijan Mortgage Fund.

The Azerbaijan Mortgage Fund was established on the basis of the Azerbaijan Mortgage Fund that operated under the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, and is its legal successor in terms of rights and liabilities as well as assets. The authorized capital of a new JSC is being formed at the expense of the Central Bank’s funds, its chairman and his deputies shall be appointed by the President of Azerbaijan.

At the same time, Ilham Aliyev instructed to develop a mechanism for construction of apartment buildings, with the cost of housing below a market price.

An issue of simplification of customs inspections was clarified as well. At the business forum of the Caspian European Club the Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan Aydin Aliyev stated that application of President Ilham Aliyev’s decree about simplification of customs inspections is aimed at improving social-economic condition of the Azerbaijani population. According to him, this document does not refer to goods imported for commercial purposes. “Duties will be levied from goods imported for commercial purposes”, Aydin Aliyev emphasized. He also noted that three months have been given to determine concrete directions of application of this decree.

It is noteworthy that on October 22 President of Azerbaijan signed an Order about simplification of customs inspection. According to the order, no custom duties will be levied from goods (with a customs value no over $10,000) brought by physical individuals into the customs area of Azerbaijan and not designed for production or commercial purposes. An exception will be made in case of excise goods, motor transport facilities and items that physical individuals need for personal use when travelling.

According to the World Bank Economic Update for Europe and Central Asia Region for October 2015 (Low Commodity Prices and Weak Currencies), the consolidated fiscal deficit of Azerbaijan is projected to average 1.4 percent of GDP over the medium term.

 A deficit of 3.4 percent of GDP is anticipated in 2015, reflecting the impact of low oil prices and a one-off increase in public investment. This deficit is expected to narrow over 2016-17 as oil prices gradually recover and the government consolidates its expenditures, the report said.

According to the World Bank ECA Economic Update for October 2015, after a modest rise in 2015, inflation is projected to fall below 5 percent per year over the medium term. While data limitations do not allow for poverty projections, sustaining the pace of poverty reduction over 2015-16 will be challenging in a context of slow growth, falling oil revenues and lower rates of public investment.

Low oil prices and declining oil output remain the most salient risks to Azerbaijan’s growth prospects, as the country’s economy has been largely driven by public spending and investment financed by oil revenues, according to the World Bank Economic Update for Europe and Central Asia Region for October 2015 (Low Commodity Prices and Weak Currencies).

Economic growth of Azerbaijan is projected to average 2.4 percent per year over 2015-17, as oil production continues to decline and lower oil revenues constrain public spending, the report said.

Falling oil exports are projected to reduce the current account surplus to 5.2 percent of GDP over the medium term. Moreover, the weakening of the Russian economy presents an important downside risk, as Russia accounts for one-third of Azerbaijan’s non-oil exports, the reports says.

Public investment is projected to fall to an average of 10.3 percent of GDP between 2015 and 2017, reducing non-oil GDP growth to less than 4 percent per year. However, investment in the hydrocarbons sector will significantly increase in 2016-17 due to the construction of major gas pipelines.

Weaknesses in the financial sector pose a significant challenge, as increased dollarization is constraining the supply of credit. In addition, a further deterioration in regional economic conditions could increase pressure on the exchange rate.

Despite slowing growth, the government intends to protect vulnerable households and safeguard its achievements in poverty reduction. However, given a shrinking resource envelope, re-orienting spending towards greater efficiency is needed to generate the necessary fiscal space.

The assets of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) as of October 1, 2015 have dropped by 6.38% compared to the beginning of 2015 (USD 37 104.1 mln.) and stood at USD 34 738.1 mln. Budget revenues of SOFAZ for the period of January-September, 2015 reached 5 543.4 mln. manats, while budget expenditures constituted 6 397.1 mln. manats.

Revenue of 5 492.2 mln. manats was received from the implementation of oil and gas agreements, including 5 479.5 mln. manats from the sale of profit oil and gas,  2.2 mln. manats as acreage fees, 2.1 mln. manats as bonus payments and 8.4 mln. manats as transit payments. The revenues from managing assets of the Fund for January-September 2015 amounted to 51.2 mln. manats.

The SOFAZ assets management brought AZN 51.2 million and extra-budgetary revenues from revaluation of foreign currencies were estimated in AZN 7.828 bn.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP) has awarded a contract to Salzgitter Mannesmann International GmbH for approximately 270km of the onshore 48” line pipe, as well as the bends TAP requires for both onshore (48”) and offshore (36”) use. Salzgitter Mannesmann International will provide 48” line pipes and bends for the onshore sections of TAP in Albania, Greece and Italy, and 36” bends for the offshore section across the Adriatic. This contract award makes up approximately 170,000 tonnes of line pipe.

The award of offshore 36” line-pipe and the remainder of the 48” diameter onshore line-pipe will be the subject of separate announcements in the near future.

“TAP plans to award several more large contracts by the end of the year and. This will enable pipeline construction to begin in Greece, Albania and Italy in 2016 as planned,” said Ian Bradshaw, Managing Director at TAP.

This year TAP has awarded several contracts: construction and rehabilitation of access roads and bridges in Albania (April 2015), large diameter ball valves and actuators (July 2015), and turbo compressors (September 2015) and fittings, isolating joints and scraper traps (October 2015).

TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.

TAP’s routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and others. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.

TAP will promote the economic development and job creation along the pipeline route; it will be a major source of foreign direct investment and it is not dependent on grants or subsidies. With first gas sales to Georgia and Turkey targeted for late 2018, first deliveries to Europe will follow approx-imately in early 2020.

TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Statoil (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).

 

Kazakhstan

Development of the non-oil sector became an important factor for Kazakhstan as well since the country intends to reduce licensing procedures for business. Prime Minister Karim Massimov chaired a regular meeting of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Ukimet Uyi on October 29. During the meeting Minister of National Economy of Kazakhstan Yerbolat Dossayev presented the draft Law "On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of Kazakhstan on reducing permits and simplify licensing procedures”.

This bill is designed to implement the President’s order to reduce the permits by 50% in 2015. Its main purpose is to reduce the administrative burden on business by eliminating duplicative and unnecessary permit procedure and optimization of licensing procedures.

Yerbolat Dossayev said that the bill provides for a comprehensive list which consists of 481 permits. This reduction does not relate to the most dangerous activities in the field of trafficking of arms, drugs, fire, and other activities, as well as permit regulated under international obligations.

Thus, he stressed that in order to achieve the 50% reduction, it is necessary to reduce 194 permits. The bill plans to reduce 152 permits or 39% of the total.
"However, in the framework of the adopted Law "On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of Kazakhstan on radical improvement of business environment ", about 11% of permitting documents was reduced. We believe that the bill will bring the total amount of reductions up to 50%”, he added.
Following the discussion, the bill was approved by the Government.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed an Entrepreneurial code of the Republic of Kazakhstan on October 30. "The document is aimed at implementation of the Nation Plan "100 concrete steps" to fulfill the five institutional reform and regulate public relations in entrepreneurship and to harmonize the legislation with the business code of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Inflow of direct foreign investments into Kazakhstan exceeded $200bln over the past 10 years, Erlan Khairov, Head of the Committee for Investments and Development of the RK stated at the Kazakhstan-Emirate business forum held on October 28.

“Kazakhstan has not receded from the obtained foreign investment flow volume. Today we have heard splendid news. Kazakhstan rose by 12 positions and took the 41st place. Moreover, in 2014 we became one of top 30 countries attracted a high amount of net investments. Active measures of the government were positively evaluated by foreign experts”, he said. Kazakhstan has been ranked at the 25st position of Doing business in terms of protection of Kazakhstan’s investors, Erlan Khairov noted. 

According to him, in 2016 Kazakhstan intends to become a member of the Committee for Investments of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, E.Khairov said.

Oil prices will continue to have a major influence over Kazakhstan’s growth prospects, as well as its fiscal and external balances and exchange-rate dynamics. Slowing growth and a worsening external environment underscore the need to strengthen the sustainability of the country’s macroeconomic framework, facilitate the adjustment to lower oil prices, and continue to implement structural reform to enhance competitiveness, says the World Bank Economic Update for Europe and Central Asia Region for October 2015 (Low Commodity Prices and Weak Currencies).

Assuming that oil prices average about US$50 per barrel in 2015 and then gradually increase to US$58 per barrel by 2017, GDP growth would be projected to gradually recover from 1.5 percent in 2015 to 3.3 percent by 2017. Weak internal and external demand will constrain growth in the industrial and service sectors, and domestic demand will be negatively impacted by the price and wealth effects of the depreciation.

CPI inflation is expected to rise from 7.4 percent (y/y) in December 2014 to about 8.1 percent (y/y) in December 2015. Continued fiscal consolidation will improve the overall fiscal balance from a deficit of 2.9 percent of GDP in 2015 to a surplus of 1.8 percent in 2017. 

Along with this, the country plans to attract new investments into geological exploration. On October 27 Minister for Investments and Development of RK Asset Issekeshev met with the management team of the Japanese national corporation for oil, gas and metals JOGMEG. The meeting was held within the framework of the official visit of the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe to Kazakhstan. The parties discussed issues of the joint project for preliminary geological surveys in Kazakhstan.

Next spring, JOGMEC and Kazgeology will launch their exploration at the Kyzemshek deposit in the Karaganda Oblast as well as the Zhanaarkalyk deposit in the Kostanai Oblast.

Moreover, the parties agreed to consider a possibility of implementing joint projects on processing of rare-earth metals in Kazakhstan. An additional meeting will be held on the level of companies, including the creation of the working group, for a more substantial discussion of this matter.

It is noteworthy that projects, which are implemented together with large global companies, were launched within the framework of the program of industrialization in the field of geology and subsoil use. In particular, geological survey operations were commenced with such companies as Australian-British concern RioTinto, South-Korean “Korea Resources Corporation, Austrialian “Iluka Resources Limited” and a private fund of German investment “Ulmus Fund”.

Apart from this, it was announced that the authorities of Kazakhstan can impose penalty on Karachaganak Petroleum Operating international consortium for the sum as much as $2 billion. This was reported by Bloomberg agency with reference to sources in the governing body of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

According to agency sources, the reason for penalty may be a complaint that the government of Kazakhstan made against "Karachaganak Petroleum Operating" in 2010. Then the consortium was accused in deliberate overestimation of financial expenses on development of Karachaganak oil and gas field, as well as violation of labor and ecological legislation.

The Karachaganak oil-gas condensate field is located in the West Kazakhstan Oblast (region). The field is developed by the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating international consortium where BG and Eni each own 29.25 percent, Chevron Corp. has 18 percent, OAO Lukoil 13.5 percent and KazMunaiGaz 10 percent.

At the same time, JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production has announced its operating results for the nine months of 2015. KMG EP produced 9,245 thousand tonnes of crude oil (251kbopd), including the Company’s stakes in Kazgermunai (KGM), CCEL (Karazhanbasmunai) and PetroKazakhstan Inc. (PKI), which is 0.3% more than in the same period of 2014.

Ozenmunaigas JSC (OMG) produced 4,115 thousand tonnes (111 kbopd), an increase of 123 thousand tonnes (3 kbopd) or 3% over the same period of 2014. Embamunaigas JSC (EMG) produced 2,104 thousand tonnes (57 kbopd), which is 6 thousand tonnes (0.2 kbopd) less than in the same period of 2014. The total volume of oil produced at OMG and EMG is 6,219 thousand tonnes (168 kbopd), which is a 2% increase over the same period of 2014.

 

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan continued developing upstream projects, but in the eastern direction. The government of Turkmenistan considered a budget of construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (TAPI), according to which SC Turkmengaz, as a leader of the consortium, will be a major investor of the project on construction of the TAPI gas pipeline. It was stated at the joint session of the Cabinet of Ministers and State Council of Security held under the chairmanship of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov. Afghan, Indian and Italian sides will finance the project in accordance with their approved shareholding. Asian Development Bank will also join in the project.

It was noted that the project was fully agreed and initialed by members of the TAPI ltd consortium. It was underlined that the startup of the construction of one of the largest gas pipelines of the continent along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India route is scheduled for December. 

A little earlier, Ashgabat hosted the 22th meeting of the TAPI Management Committee, which consists of the ministers of the oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It was also attended by top managers of the Asian Development Bank as a transactional advisor to the project, TDH notes.

Listened were to the reports about the work carried out by participants of the project and its transactional advisor within the framework of readiness for the start-up of construction of the gas pipeline meant to be one of the largest energy pipelines of the Eurasian continent.  The meeting participants considered and approved major results of the following session, held the other day, of the technical group on TAPI project.

The meeting participants confirmed high interest of their countries in sooner practical implementation of the project on construction of the TAPI gas pipeline and supply of Turkmen gas, discussed a number of other issues concerning agreements reached earlier and aimed at activation of the joint work. The draft of the shareholder agreement was also approved. 

Apart from this, a schedule of the following meetings of the technical group for TAPI was agreed at the session. A corresponding protocol was signed at the end of the session.

According to the feasibility study of the project, TAPI gas pipeline with a length over 1184km will start from the south-east region of Turkmenistan, an area where huge gas fields lie, and reach Indian dwelling settlement of Fazilka on the Pakistani-Indian border. The annual capacity of the gas pipeline will total over 30 bcm.

It is noteworthy that apart from economic tasks, the TAPI project will let countries participants solve important social and humanitarian issues concerning mainly creation of additional working places, formation of not only the transport-communication but also social infrastructure along the whole route of the gas pipeline. This pipeline can be considered as a real and effective stabilizing factor capable of bearing a positive influence on general situation in Central and South Asia, adjacent regions, impart an additional sustainability to the whole system of political and economic affairs in the continent.

 

 

Russia

Today Russia is among the world leaders in oil and gas production. In 2014 Russia produced 527 million tonnes of oil. This is slightly less than Saudi Arabia and slightly more than the United States: 12.9 percent for Saudi Arabia and 12.3 percent for the United States, said Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on October 27 at the meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Strategic Development of the Fuel and Energy Sector and Environmental Safety, the press service of the head of state of Russia reports.

According to Vladimir Putin, in the first six months of this year, for instance, Russia used 86.5 percent of associated gas, which is a 10.3 percent increase against 2012. “We may not be moving at the rate we would have liked to, but we are gradually resolving the task we set ourselves a few years ago concerning associated gas”, he said.

Currently the fuel and energy complex accounts for 40 percent of all capital investment in the country. “Our common goal is to retain the positive investment dynamics in the sector,” he stressed.

At the same time, according to Vladimir Putin, “the situation on the world energy markets is unstable, as you know better than anyone else.”

“Thus, compared to mid-2014, oil prices have gone down by more than 50 percent. Gas prices followed with an almost 20 percent drop by the end of the first half of this year. World coal prices continue falling: from a peak in 2011, they have gone down by an average 50 percent. As a result, the crisis in the world energy sector forced international companies to cut investment into complex low-profit projects, which could have been implemented in conditions of higher prices of hydrocarbons,” Vladimir Putin stressed.

H reminded that by international expert assessment, the reduction of world investment into the oil and gas sector might reach $300 billion in 2015. Over the past five years, the total losses incurred by producers of hard to extract shale oil in the United States amounted to about $150 billion, while in the first six months of this year they lost $62 billion. “Obviously, this is not the first or the last crisis on the world market,” he stressed.

Discussed at the meeting were also ways of adaptation of the Russian fuel-energy complex to new economic conditions, prospects of implementation of a number of investment projects and measures aimed at reducing dependence on import of equipment for the industries.

World Bank expects Russia’s economy to contract.

Russia faces complex challenges as it strives to complete the structural transformation that began with its recent macroeconomic adjustment. Despite recent stabilization measures financial-sector risks remain elevated, and further recapitalization of systemically vital banks could increase pressure on fiscal buffers. Fiscal sustainability risks are already rising, and the revenue uncertainty generated by slow growth and volatile oil prices is complicating medium-term budget planning, the World Bank Economic Update for Europe and Central Asia Region for October 2015 (Low Commodity Prices and Weak Currencies) says.

The continued impact of the adjustment to lower oil prices in a context of ongoing international sanctions will cause the Russian economy to contract in 2015. Russia’s medium-term growth trajectory will hinge on its ability to adapt to new economic realities. While the process of structural transformation will be difficult, it also presents a valuable opportunity to improve allocative efficiency and bolster long-term competitiveness. Russia’s economy is projected to contract by 3.8 percent in 2015 and 0.6 percent in 2016 before rebounding to a modest growth rate of 1.5 percent in 2017. The recession, and particularly the steep decline in households’ purchasing power, is expected to lead to the first significant increase in the poverty rate since 1999, with moderate poverty rising to 7.8 percent in 2015 and 8.1 percent in 2016.

It is no secret that Russia is one of the main exporters in the European market. However, there are still problems with the pricing policy. Turkey has filed a claim to the international court against Gazprom, opposing the price for Russian gas. The head of the press-service of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey Ugur Alici said.

A claim, concerning gas purchase from Russia starting from December 29, 2014, to the international court was filed on October 26, he said.

According to the statement spread by the Turkish oil-gas company Botas (a claimant) on October 27, it has a right for it following the conditions of the agreement as of December 29, 2014, TASS reports.

Botas submitted a written notice to Gazprom export for gas discount in 2014. As the result of negotiations, the parties reached an agreement on reduction of the price and setting the size of the discount, which gained force from December 29, 2014. After the expiry of the 6-month period, envisaged by the agreement, Botas did not apply to the court regarding the price revision. However, the necessary document concerning the agreements reached earlier, were never signed”, the statement says. 

It is noteworthy that RF Minister of Energy Alexander Novak said on July 31 that Gazprom and Botas have already reached agreements on discount for gas price at the rate of 10.25%. Novak added that no documents concerning the discount were signed. The gas discount for the Turkish state company is a compromise between RF and Turkey within the framework of the intergovernmental agreement on construction of the first string of the Turkish Stream.

 

 

Iran

Iran highlighted ways of development for the post-sanction period. In reply to the questions of journalists at the ceremony dedicated to the launch of implementation of three oil projects in the south oil-bearing regions of the country, Petroleum Minister of Iran Bijan Zanganeh stated that according to new oil contracts worked out in Iran, foreign companies are not allowed to produce oil without Iranian partners. The purpose of such approach lies in the necessity to make Iranian companies much stronger and supply them with new technologies.

Bijan Zanganeh said that oil production in Iran would reach 4 mln barrels per day after 8 months, IRNA notes. As the Minister said, the volume of oil export can be increased at least by 500,000 right on the next day after cancellation of sanctions.

According to him, new oil contracts shall be presented on November 28-29 whereupon it will be possible to assess the position of foreign companies in terms of their participation in these contracts. For now many of these companies are showing big interest in new oil contracts.

Deputy Petroleum Minister for International Affairs of Ira Amir-Hossein Zamani-Nia said Iran is planning to secure 185 billion dollars of investment in its oil industry during the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan by 2021.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day Iran Offshore Projects Outlook 2015 in Netherlands on Tuesday, he added, “In the post-sanction era, Iran’s economic ties with the world will develop.”

“Stable domestic environment, effective and constructive foreign policies in international interactions, and Iran’s deep interest in observing international law to settle differences are the incentives for foreign investors in Iran,” he said quoted by Shana.

He introduced massive volume of untapped oil and gas reservoirs, high standards of the industry’s technical and engineering operations, availability of expert human resources with relatively low fees, and low-cost oil extraction compared to other producers as Iranian oil industry’s additional advantages for foreign investors.

Apart from this, Petroleum Minister of Iran Bijan Zanganeh stated that Iran plans to supply 10 mln tonnes of LNG to the foreign market in coming years instead of pump gas by means of pipelines, Shana reports.

“For Iran, LNG is a policy worked out for distant markets. Export of gasoline has a number of problems in addition to long distances (for laying pipelines). Big funds will be spent on transit”, he told journalists.

“As soon as sanctions are lifted and confiscated equipment is brought back, the Iranian LNG project will be activated and we will be able to enter the LNG market”, Zangane stated.

He added: “We seeking partners for production and sale of LNG”. Earlier, the Deputy Minister of Petroleum for gas industry issues, said that Iran, possessing huge gas reserves in the world, is considering different options of presence in the international and European markets of gas, in addition to the markets of neighbor countries.

“It is very economical to export gas to neighbor countries. After signing of the nuclear deal, we are able to export our gas to Europe through Turkey”, Hamid Reza Arakchi told Shana agency.

Iran is the country in the region after Russia in terms of the length of its gas pipeline network. 

“There are specialists who assume that it will be more economical to export LNG instead of entering distant markets”, the head of the National Iranian Gas Company said.

Meeting the demands of the growing domestic market as well as increase of gas export and presence in the global market are among plans of the company. After completing the 6th national 5-year development plan, export of Iranian gas will rise from 10 up to 66 bcm of gas per year.

In September Bijan Zangeneh said that Spain has voiced readiness to help Iran aimed at exporting gas to Europe. This issue will be discussed at bilateral negotiations.

“Spain is interested in cooperation with Iran in development of oil, gas and petrochemical products, oil refining as well as in construction of equipment”, Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria López said.

According to Shana, the European companies try to obtain profitable investment opportunities in Iran, which will open up after lifting of sanctions.

Iranian tankers are also ready to return to the markets. National Iranian Tankers Company has published a statement in which it approves the joint comprehensive plan of actions on settlement of the Iranian nuclear program and measures of the EU and USA who decided to cancel anti-Iranian sanctions. According to the mentioned statement, the company is fully ready to return to the international and European markets right after lifting of sanctions.

In recent years, the National Iranian Tankers Company faced serious restrictions and big losses because of sanctions. Nevertheless, it managed to overcome all difficulties and rank with large fleets of the world, engaged in oil transportation. The company transported and keeps transporting up to 90% of Iranian oil which goes for export, and as negotiations concerning the Iranian nuclear deal were continued, it set its actions so that to return to the European markets. In this regard, corresponding negotiations were held with the foreign companies, especially with the European one, which focused on such issues as insurance of transported goods.

 

Jeyhun Bayramov

Editor

Caspian Energy journal

 

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