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Iran and South Africa have agreed to start a feasibility study on building a gas to liquids (GTL) conversion plant in Iran with a capacity of 50,000 barrels, Iranian media report after South Africa’s Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson visited Tehran for energy talks.
Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Marzieh Shahdaei and Joemat-Pettersson decided to proceed with finalization of the talks between Iran’s Research Institute of Petroleum Industry and a South African company to build a GTL plant in Iran, semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday.
Joemat-Pettersson said that “private firms of South Africa are eager to cooperate and conduct joint venture with Iran”, Mehr news agency reports.
The news service of Iran’s petroleum ministry, Shana, reported that executives from South Africa’s PetroSA met on Sunday with Shahdaei – who is also managing director at Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) – to discuss potential projects in Iran in the GTL refinery process that converts natural gas to liquid fuels such as gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel.
After meeting with South Africa’s Joemat-Pettersson, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said that Iran was interested in sending crude oil cargoes to South Africa. Zangeneh quantified South Africa’s import needs at around 100,000 bpd of oil, and said the country should first say how much oil it plans to buy from Iran, Shana reports.
Related: Iran vs Russia: The Next Natural Gas War
Iran is not ready to invest in projects outside its territory, but it is prepared to consider private Iranian companies buying stakes in foreign refineries—with the support of the National Development Fund of Iran—to ensure long-term export destinations, Zangeneh said, as quoted by Shana.
Since most of the European sanctions on Iran were lifted in January last year, Iran has been trying to regain its crude oil exports share and lure international oil and gas companies back to investing in the country’s vast oil and gas fields. At the beginning of this year, the National Iranian Oil Company published a list of 29 foreign firms that had qualified for bidding in Iran’s oil and gas tenders.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.