Iran Thaw Warms Western Oil Company Interest

Source: Reuters 10/4/2013, Location: Asia

The tempting taboo of Iran's oil and gas riches has moved a step nearer for Western oil companies, lining up to woo Tehran if sanctions finally succumb to a diplomatic thaw.

U.S. oil firms - barred by Washington from Iran for nearly two decades - planned to meet Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh last week at the United Nations, encouraged by the new tone in Tehran, industry sources said. 'We're willing to talk: Iran's got tremendous potential,' said a senior executive from a major U.S. oil company who requested anonymity while preparing for exploratory talks. 'Once sanctions are removed, we'd definitely be interested in investing, but the contract terms have got to be attractive.'

U.S. companies Conoco, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Anadarko have all shown varying degrees of interest in the Islamic Republic ever since Tehran nationalised its energy sector in 1979. That move ejected major Western players including BP - doubly tainted in Iranian eyes for its history there dating back to the political turmoil of the 1950s and beyond.


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