Bijan Zangeneh, Iran’s Minister of Oil announced Iran’s willingness to purchase shares in South African refineries in a meeting with the South African Minister of Energy this week.
It is mainly a strategy to guarantee the long-term export of Iranian oil to South Africa. On the contrary to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s main rival in Oil Industry, financial situation limits Iran in building her own refineries abroad.
Regarding the construction of refineries in South Africa, Zangeneh said: “We are not yet prepared to invest in the construction of new projects abroad since Iran is currently seeking investments for domestic projects; however, we can buy shares”.
The Minister of Oil added that investment in foreign refineries will not be done by the National Iranian Oil Company, but rather the private sector can take action in this regard with support from the National Development Fund.
South Africa is also eager to invest in Iran. In years past, Iran’s Ministry of Oil was interested in using South African GLT technology which is used to turn gas to liquid. However, due to disagreement over the price of gas, no cooperation started.
This time around, Iran’s Oil Minister is more optimistic about the result of negotiations and the activity of the private sector. He believes that the exportation of oil products to South Africa will have early returns.
“I think, the deal to export oil and byproducts to South Africa will succeed fast, because they import all of their needs. It’s South Africans to specify the amount they wish to import, but it seems, they need more than 100 thousand barrels a day”, said Bijan Zanganeh.