JCPOA gave Iran Freedom to Choose: Official

The official said the events that ensued from implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Iran’s oil industry has raised national security of the country. 

January 16 marks the anniversary of implementation of the JCPOA which Iran struck with the P5+1 group of countries in Vienna. 

As a result of the JCPOA implementation, all the US-led sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program were supposed to be lifted including banking and oil industry sanctions. 

Since JCPOA implementation, Iran has more than doubled its crude oil exports and has brought it to over 2.570 million barrels per day with its record being in December 2016 with a daily average of 2.83 mb. 

Zamaninia says not much investment has been made in Iran’s oil and gas sector in recent years and the country’s output is not in tandem with its hydrocarbon riches. 

“The world has admitted that Iran’s oil and gas industry has dramatically developed in recent years,” he said, stressing that a lot has been done in the country in the past three years, since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013. 

He said Iran has earned over $29b from crude oil sales in the first 9 months of the current Iranian calendar year which began on March 20, saying the cash has been regularly deposited to the government account since the JCPOA implementation.

The official also said Iran’s oil revenue has dramatically grown since the deal Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members clinched in December. 

Oil Tankers 

Zamaninia said that many of the issues regarding insurance, classing and classification of Iranian oil tankers have been resolved as a result of the JCPOA implementation. 

“For the time being, Iranian tankers can freely use other countries’ flags to sale in high seas and purchase of tanker parts and items either inside or outside of the country is easily carried out at lower expenses,” he added. 

He also said that many blocked items like those bought from Siemens were also cleared from the customs departments of other countries thanks to the JCPOA implementation. 

JCPOA and Foreign Companies 

The official further touched on the arrival of international companies to Iran’s oil and gas sector after the JCPOA implementation, saying that leading energy heavyweights began a competition to join petroleum projects in Iran in the post-JCPOA. 

“This has given Iran the freedom to choose from international partners in developing its oil and gas fields,” he said. 

Zamaninia said National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has so far signed 15 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with foreign companies which will reach 25 by the calendar yearend. 

A heads of agreement (HOA) with the Total, CNPC and Petronas for developing phase 11 of the supergiant South Pars Gas Field valued at 5 billion dollars has made so much progress so far. 

Renovation of Tehran, Bandar Abbas, Tabriz, Abadan and Isfahan refineries has been considered in the post-JCPOA era and negotiations with Korean, Chinese and Japanese companies for financing and developing the projects are on the go. 

Petrochemical Industry

JCPOA has also opened up the path for arrival of chemical and petrochemical companies to Iran as well. 

The National Petrochemical Company (NPC) is in talks with companies from Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and France and has so far signed a number of cooperation documents valued at more than $10b.