Abu Dhabi: Wintershall, Germany’s largest oil and gas company is looking to invest in Iran as the country opens up for foreign investment following decades of sanctions over its controversial nuclear enrichment programme.
Mario Mehren, chairman of Wintershall said they signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran in April this year to look into certain assets but they are yet to bid for any project.
“Iran is very interesting for us. There is a lot of onshore oil. We have not seen yet the commercial framework related to petroleum contracts,” said Mehren addressing a press conference during Adipec.
Iran is trying to lure international companies that can make long-term investments worth billions of dollars and bring in technology after sanctions were eased in January.
Italy’s Eni and France oil giant Total have also shown interest in developing Iran’s oil and gasfields.
Speaking about the company’s projects in Libya, he said the country continues to be a difficult place and it is producing about 35,000 barrels of oil per day, which is significantly lower.
“There are still certain restrictions on the availability of infrastructure and the availability of service companies. Political situation in Libya is not getting better and I am not too optimistic about improvement in the coming days.”
On the investments made by the company across the globe, Mehren said there were investments of around one billion euros (Dh4.06 billion) in 2016, down by around 400 million euros compared to 2015.
“I don’t see the investment figure going down next year as we have lot of interesting projects in Russia, Argentina and Norway.”
He expressed optimism on oil prices going up due to reduction in supplies and cut in investments by oil companies.
“Oil prices will go up again. Supply and demand game is working due to significant cut in investments in oil production. The market is balanced already in terms of production and demand. “
The company is involved is involved in the development of Shuwaihat sour gasfield in the western region of Abu Dhabi and is currently undertaking appraisal of different wells.
The sour gas project is being developed in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Austria’s OMV.