Iran denies secret deal awards to BP
Iran on Thursday rejected reports that it has conducted secret talks to award two oil projects to the British energy major BP.
Ali Kardor, the deputy for investment affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), told reporters in London that reports over secret talks between Iran and BP are part of what he described as “publicity stunt “.
“BP only in a meeting with the NIOC voiced readiness to cooperate [with the company] with regards to Iran’s new oil contracts,” Kardor told reporters on the sidelines of the Oil and Money conference in London.
Akbar Nematollahi, the public relations director of Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum, has told reporters that the Ministry has reached no agreement with any company over the development of any Iranian oil project.
“The Ministry of Petroleum has engaged in talks with a large number of companies,” Nematollahi has been quoted as saying by IRNA.
“However, those talks have led to no agreement over the development of any project. Signing deals over the development of oil and gas projects does not happen easily and requires a time-consuming procedure,” he added.
The Times had earlier quoted an unknown BP spokesman as saying that the company was holding confidential talks with Iran over returning to the country for possible investments that could be worth billions of dollars.
Other reports said that BP had sent technical and commercial managers on a fact-finding mission to the country last month.
On a related front, BP CEO Bob Dudley has said the company would be “very much” interested in investing in Iran when sanctions are lifted.