Iran has signed more than $16bn worth of oil contracts since the inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi last summer, but won’t be disclosing information about them, the Minister of Oil has announced.
Javad Oji made the remarks to IRNA news agency this morning as part of a comparison between the performance of the 13th government of the Islamic Republic and the Raisi administration.
The total value of the post-August 2021 contracts, he claimed, was “several times higher” than the since-abandoned 2017 deal with Total in a now-abandoned deal to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars field.
But Oji also made it clear that the government does not intend to reveal the details of the contracts or the names of the parties involved, now or in the future.
"In the context of sanctions,” he said, “it is natural not to announce the names of companies. We will never change this practice, and we will not disclose the names of the companies and the details just so to stop some people from criticizing.
He repeated: “This will definitely be the case in all oil contracts from now on. Don’t expect the details of contracts or the names of companies to be published at all.”
In the last eight months, Oji said, some 55 separate agreements had been signed by the National Iranian Oil Company and related parties. These included 28 linked to gas extraction, oil tanker transport and transmission lines for petroleum products.
The Raisi administration has set itself the ambitious target of increasing Iran’s petrochemical production capacity by 50 percent in four years. Because the Oil Ministry is not announcing the details of these contracts, it was not possible to verify the accuracy of Oji statements or how far they might contribute toward this goal.