The National Iranian Oil Engineering Company (NIOEC) is in talks with Sierra Leone to build an oil refinery in the West African country. Based on the negotiations, during the first stage, Iran will construct oil storage depots in Sierra Leone, followed by the construction of the refinery. Several rounds of negotiations have been held with countries in Europe, Asia and Africa to construct or purchase refineries, said Aliasgar Sajedi, Director of NIOEC, in the Iran Daily report.
“Negotiations are almost finalised”, Sajedi said, "The country intends to buy shares of foreign refineries to guarantee the purchase of its crude oil," Sajedi said. So far there have been reports of negotiations with Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia and India on the issue.
Both sides will benefit from the co-operation as the target countries will guarantee their energy security and Iran would ensure its access to oil markets for a long period. The constructed refineries will be designed to conform to Iranian crude oil specifications, in order to refine Iran’s oil.
The Islamic Republic’s Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Kazemi said that constructing refineries abroad, with the participation of international investors, will safeguard Iran’s oil export for a long period of at least 20 - 25 years. Tehran can count on stable consumers for decades by building refineries in foreign countries, Kazemi said.
By holding 157 billion bbls of recoverable crude oil reserves, Iran possesses the world's fourth largest reserves of crude oil. Iran’s current oil production is estimated to be around 2.8 million bpd of which, about one million bbls are exported.
Edited from various sources by Francesca Brindle
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