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May 31 2016
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Oil Prices Soar Over $50 A Barrel For First Time In 2016

- The price of premium crude oil has surged over $50 a barrel for the first time this year in Asian trading, giving a boost to the economies of oil producers from Russia and Kazakhstan to Iran and Iraq. - 5/27/16

Can OPEC Agree on Oil Production Policy?

- The fall in the price of oil from $115/barrel in mid-2014 to $27/barrel this year has had a devastating impact on petro-states all over the world. Whereas the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil producer and exporter, cut production in the 1980s to raise oil prices, officials in Riyadh have been determined to avoid a repeat of this experience, which cost Saudi Arabia market share. Yet the kingdom has paid a major price for this geopolitically motivated oil production policy... -Alex Stout - 5/26/16

Iran's oil exports at highest level since 2012

- The latest market figures show that oil exports in April reached the highest level in over four years - a yet another indication that the country is regaining the share of the market it lost as a result of the sanctions at a faster pace than expected. - 5/19/16

IMF Warns Iran Not To Rely Only On Oil Revenue To Boost Economy

- A top International Monetary Fund official warned Iran not to count on a big jump in oil revenue to boost its economy, but said it should seek other opportunities to re-engage with the global economy. "I speak here today at a pivotal moment for Iran's economy," said IMF Deputy Managing Director David Lipton in a speech at the Central Bank of Iran on May 17 during a two-day visit to Tehran. - 5/18/16

Saudi Energy Policies Unlikely to Shift Under New Minister

- Saudi Arabia's energy policies are unlikely to change despite the fact that longtime energy minister, Ali al-Naimi, was removed on May 7 and Khalid al-Falih appointed as his successor. -Sara Vakhshouri, LobeLog - 5/11/16

The Viability Of Central-South Asian Energy Projects

- The groundbreaking ceremony for the Central Asia-South Asia electricity transmission project, known as CASA-1000, is scheduled for May 12 in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. The leaders of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan are coming to join Tajik President Emomali Rahmon for the event. -Bruce Pannier, RFE - 5/9/16

Iran backs any move to stabilize oil market: Zangeneh

- Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran will support any initiative to stabilize the oil market after recent talks in Qatar failed to freeze production. Zangeneh told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with his South African counterpart in Tehran on Saturday that the meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Doha was a "good step." - 4/23/16

Iranian crude output to reach pre-sanctions level by July

- A deputy to the Iranian petroleum minister says the country's crude oil production will reach pre-sanctions levels of 2011 within a couple of months. Tehran has expressed concern over market oversupply and low oil prices but also reiterated its right to regain pre-sanctions market level. - 4/20/16

Oil Price Falls In Asian Trading After Doha Talks Fail

- Russia's Energy Minster Aleksandr Novak said at the end of the April 17 Doha meeting that the Kremlin was not optimistic about an agreement to freeze production because of "heated debates" at the conference and "Iran's position." - 4/18/16

Iran sends OPEC governor to Doha oil freeze talks

- Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh will not attend upcoming talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Doha to find a solution to tumbling oil prices, but will send Iran's OPEC governor to the meeting. - 4/16/16

India vows to invest $20bn in development of Iran's Chabahar port

- India says it is ready to invest $20 billion in the development of Iran's southeastern Chabahar port - a move that would enable New Delhi to dodge Pakistan and establish a strategic connectivity to Afghanistan as well as the Central Asia - 4/11/16

Norway to launch Iran's first FLNG plan

- Iran says it is working on a plan with a Norwegian company to build a floating facility to liquefy natural gas in the Persian Gulf. NIOC chief Rokneddin Javadi said last October that LNG has returned to Iran's energy agenda, stressing that the country has devised serious plans to launch its first liquefaction project by April 2018. - 4/8/16

Russia, OPEC Said Likely To Freeze Oil Output Without Iran

- Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries can reach an agreement to freeze oil production, even if Iran doesn't join in, a top OPEC official told Bloomberg News. Kuwaiti OPEC governor Nawal al-Fezaia's prediction of an output freeze excluding Iran in an interview with Bloomberg helped send oil prices soaring more than 5 percent on world markets on April 6 and 7. - 4/7/16

Explainer: Why The Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis Matters

- This week's Nagorno-Karabakh crisis might strike most people as nothing more than another minor conflict in a remote, faraway place. But the role of the Caucasus in the global energy trade and the potential for full-scale hostilities between Azerbaijan and archrival Armenia or its clients drawing in major regional powers are reason enough to keep a close eye on whether the April 5 cease-fire holds. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 4/6/16

Saudi attempting to slow Iran oil surge: Report

- A new report points to Saudi Arabia's attempts to hinder Iran's efforts to regain its market share of the global oil trade. The Financial Times report on Monday said Saudi Arabia has been banning vessels that transport Iranian crude from entering their waters. - 4/5/16

Iran oil exports surpass 2 million bpd

- Iran has sharply raised oil exports since the lifting of sanctions in January, with the sales of crude and condensate standing over 2 million barrels per day, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says. "Iran's exports of oil and gas condensate are now at more than 2 million barrels per day," the minister told the Shana news agency in Tehran on Sunday. - 4/4/16

Iran says regained lost oil market share

- Iran says it has already been able to regain the share of the oil market that it had lost as a result of multiple years of draconian sanctions. Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh says this has been materialized as a result of an increase in the country's production and exports of crude oil as well as gas condensate. - 3/17/16

Oil Prices Plummet On Fear Iran Will Torpedo Output Freeze Plan

- The price of premium crude fell 3 percent on March 14 and dropped further to under $40 a barrel in early trading March 15 after Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said that Tehran would not immediately join in a production freeze this year, but might join after raising its output back to levels that prevailed before economic sanctions. - 3/15/16

Iran Rejects Russia-Saudi Oil Freeze Proposal

- Iran has said it will not freeze its oil production, a blow to a proposal by Russia and Saudi Arabia to freeze global output to help turn around a plunge in oil prices. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told Iran's Press TV on March 13 that other oil-producing countries should "leave us alone." - 3/13/16

Russian, Iranian Ministers To Discuss Oil-Output Freeze

- Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak will meet with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on March 14 in Tehran to discuss how an oil-output freeze might apply to Iran, officials say. - 3/11/16

Iran exports 32 tons of heavy water to US

- Iran on Tuesday announced that it had exported 32 tons of heavy water to the United States in what could be a landmark progress in the commercialization of the country's nuclear energy program. - 3/9/16

Iran says oil exports rose by 30%

- Iran said on Tuesday that its oil exports had increased by 30 percent last month. The country's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh has been quoted by the media as saying that exports increased to 1.75 million barrels per day (bpd) during the Iranian month of Bahman, which runs from January 21 to February 19. - 3/2/16

India presses for undersea Iran gas plan

- Three major Indian gas buyers will be visiting Iran early next month to discuss a long-proposed undersea pipeline which New Delhi sees as an alternative to a similar project via Pakistan, a press report says. - 2/29/16

Iran rejects oil freeze call as 'joke'

- Iran on Tuesday vehemently rejected any possibility that it will stop increasing its oil production with the country's oil minister Bijan Zangeneh mocking any request on Tehran to that effect as "a joke". - 2/23/16

Plunging oil price brings Saudi Arabia and Iran together in alliance of enemies

- The Iranian endorsement of a plan by its arch regional rival, Saudi Arabia, to stabilise global oil prices could be seen as a diplomatic coup for Riyadh. However, Tehran's support for a production freeze has not been driven by a new desire for political rapprochement as much as acceptance of a greater enemy: collapsed commodity prices. -Guardian - 2/22/16

Iran Joins Georgia's Caucasian Gas Circle

- As the price of natural gas keeps declining, competition among Caspian Basin suppliers is picking up. Georgia, which serves as a crossroads for Caspian Basin energy exports, has become the focal point of a three-way scramble among natural gas exporters. Citing a wintertime shortage of natural gas, Tbilisi is considering deals from Azerbaijan, which already supplies 90 percent of Georgia's gas; Russia, which provides the other 10 percent as a fee for transiting Russian energy to Armenia; and, now, Iran. -Giorgi Lomsadze, LobeLog - 2/21/16

Iran proposes nuclear power plan with Hungary: Salehi

- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said at a Thursday conference in Budapest that Tehran proposed the pilot project with Hungary to design and develop a 25-megawatt reactor as well as a reactor of up to 100 megawatts, Reuters reported. - 2/19/16

Major oil producers agree to keep production

- Iran says a quadripartite meeting that it hosted on Wednesday with the visiting oil ministers of Venezuela, Iraq and Qatar over measures to boost oil prices had ended with an agreement for OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to keep their current output ceiling to help stabilize the market and boost the prices. - 2/18/16

Iran, Iraq Weigh Oil Production Freeze Pact

- Iran's OPEC envoy said Wednesday the country plans to increase its oil production to levels it had before the imposition of international sanctions sharply cut its exports. The comments came ahead of a meeting in Tehran of oil ministers from Iran, Iraq and Venezuela to discuss a proposal to freeze production in order to battle a drop in oil prices. - 2/17/16

Russia, Saudi Arabia Agree Oil-Output Freeze

- Russia and Saudi Arabia, the world's two largest crude producers, have agreed to freeze output, as long as others follow suit. Freezing output at January levels will be "adequate," Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on February 16 after talks with Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak in Qatar's capital, Doha. - 2/16/16

In Iran, New Battle Brews Over Contracts With Foreign Oil Giants

- A political battle is taking shape in Iran over any new foreign role in developing the country's enormous oil wealth, only a few weeks after the Iranian nuclear deal with foreign powers relaxed tough economic sanctions. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 2/1/16

Russian Oil Execs Agree To Talk With OPEC About Boosting Prices

- Russian oil executives and energy officials decided this week they should talk to Saudi Arabia and the OPEC oil cartel about cutting output to boost world oil prices, the head of Russia's pipeline monopoly said on January 27. - 1/28/16

Azerbaijan's Reserves Rapidly Evaporating Amid Fiscal Storm

- With oil prices now barely above $31 per barrel, Azerbaijan's energy-export economy is taking on lots of water. And what is worse, Baku's lifeboat, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, appears to be in danger of foundering. -Durna Safarova, LobeLog - 1/26/16

Iran signs oil deal with Russia's Lukoil

- Iran says it has signed a deal with Russia's Lukoil over two exploration projects in the country's southwestern oil-rich Khouzestan province. Hormoz Qalavand, the director for exploration affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has been quoted by the media as saying that Lukoil is to look for hydrocarbon reserves in Dasht-e Abadan and the northern parts of the Persian Gulf. - 1/25/16

Crude Reckoning: The Far-Reaching, Unexpected Effects Of Falling Oil Prices

- What do a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter, a Russian villager, and an American miner have in common? They have all been adversely affected by plunging oil prices. For many Western consumers, plummeting prices mean paying less to heat their homes and drive their cars. But cheap oil, at its lowest price in over a decade, is also having far-reaching and unexpected geopolitical and economic consequences around the world. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 1/20/16

Europe eyes Iran as new energy source

- Europe looks to Iran to diversify energy supplies after the lifting of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, head of Italy's Eni SpA Claudio Descalzi says. Iran owns the world's largest gas reserves but its share of the market is negligible because much of the gas produced goes to local consumption which is huge by all standards while sanctions have curbed efforts to ramp up production. - 1/19/16

Iran gives order for 500,000 bpd rise in oil production

- Managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company says the Oil Ministry has been ordered to raise the country's daily oil production by 500,000 barrels following announcement of the removal of international sanctions against Iran. - 1/18/16

Iran's Move To Add To Oil Glut Sends Global Markets Reeling

- Oil prices plummeted to $29 a barrel on an expected increase in Iranian oil exports as international sanctions are lifted this weekend, dragging stock markets sharply lower around the world on January 15. With major indexes in New York, Shanghai, London and elsewhere plunging in a world awash in oil but lacking strong sources of economic growth, worried investors snapped up gold, bonds, and other safe-haven assets. - 1/16/16

The Woman Shaping Iran's Oil Future

- Raised in a pistachio-farming family in tradition-minded southern Iran, Hassanzadeh, 31, earned her law degree and Ph.D. in the U.K. on scholarships. She literally wrote the book on Iran's natural gas industry since the 1979 Islamic revolution--it was published last year by Oxford University Press. She has returned to Iran to head a consulting firm, Energy Pioneers, based in Tehran and London, that's at the vanguard of Iran's all-out push to lure back foreign investors after the expected lifting of sanctions in coming months. -Peter Waldman, Bloomberg - 1/15/16

Was Iran's Claim About Ramping Up Oil Production Just Hype?

- Low oil prices and increased risks in investing in Iran are forcing the country to tread its waters very carefully -Dalan McEndree, TIME - 1/12/16

Iran opens $6 billion gas operations

- Iran brings online two more operations in its biggest gas field, marking the opening of the first such project all carried out by domestic entities in the face of Western sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani attended inauguration of phases 15 and 16 of the South Pars field in Asaluyeh on Monday along with other senior officials, including his Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh. - 1/11/16

The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

- The market was supposed to save the planet. That, at least, was the argument of many economists grappling with the problem of climate change. As fossil fuels became scarcer, they pointed out, the price of oil and natural gas would go up. And then other options, like solar and wind, would become cheaper, particularly as investment flowed into that sector and drove down the cost of new technologies. And voila: The invisible hand would gradually turn down the global thermostat. -John Feffer, LobeLog - 1/11/16

Low Oil Prices Cost Iran 23.6 Billion Dollars

- Tasnim news agency in a report on Friday alleged that plunging oil prices is a result of a campaign by the United States and Saudi Arabia to undermine the Iranian economy. That campaign, Tasnim wrote, was specifically intensified as Iran started to make progress in talks to resolve disputes over its nuclear energy activities with the view to remove the multiple-year sanctions against its economy. - 1/1/16

Iran, Russia firms sign deal to build oil rigs

- Iranian shipbuilder ISOICO says it has signed an agreement with Russian shipyard Krasnye Barrikady (Red Barricades) for oil rig construction and technology transfer. - 12/30/15

Major leap in China's imports of Iran oil

- The latest market figures have revealed a major leap in China's imports of crude oil from Iran over the past month. Figures reported by Reuters show that China imported 2.02 million tons of Iranian oil in November or 491,100 barrels per day (bpd). - 12/23/15

Russia to start building 2 nuclear plants in Iran next week: AEOI

- Russia will start constructing two nuclear power plants in Iran next week, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi says. Speaking in a radio interview on Tuesday, Kamalvandi added that technical measures are underway in parallel with political and economic negotiations. - 12/22/15

Crude oil prices hit lowest in 11 years

- The global supply glut drives down oil prices further to their lowest in more than 11 years after the US decides to lift its 40-year ban on crude exports. Brent futures fell by about 2 percent to $36.05 per barrel on Monday, the weakest since 2004. US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), futures fell 33 cents to $34.40 a barrel, their lowest since 2009. - 12/21/15

Iran ups oil output by 500k barrels in hours

- Iran said on Saturday that it has set a record in boosting its oil production capacity by 500,000 barrels "in a matter of hours". Mohsen Dehqan-Zadeh, the managing director of Karoun Oil and Gas Development Company, told reporters that the record had been made in Iran's southern onshore oil fields. - 12/19/15

Iran can produce oil at $1 per barrel

- Iran's push for big investment in its oil industry comes amid crude prices sliding to new record lows but officials are confident the low cost of production in the country will supersede any drawback. - 12/15/15

Iran denies halving gas exports to Turkey

- Turkey is currently locked in a diplomatic dispute with Russia which provides for 60% of Turkish gas needs. Iran is the second supplier of gas to Turkey, accounting for 30% of the country's needs. Turkey is said to be looking at the possibility of boosting imports from Iran. On Monday, an official dismissed reports that Iran had ramped up supplies to its northwestern neighbor. - 12/9/15

Oil Prices Plummet As Investors Brace For Flood Of Iranian Crude

- Oil prices plummeted to their lowest levels since the depths of the global recession in February 2009 as investors braced for a flood of Iranian oil in an already glutted market. - 12/8/15

Divided OPEC Braces For Flood Of Iranian Crude

- Stiff Iranian opposition to any attempt to rein in its oil production has left the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) divided and unable to agree on a plan of action. A meeting on December 4 ended in disarray after Iran said it would not consider any production curbs until it restored output that has been scaled back for years as a result of Western economic sanctions. - 12/5/15

Russia, Iran, Iraq Quash Reported Bid To Cut Oil Output

- The Energy Intelligence newsletter reported that Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was ready to propose a cut of 1 million barrels a day in output at a meeting of the oil cartel on December 4, if non-OPEC countries like Russia joined in. But Russia, Iran, and Iraq quickly rejected the idea in the run-up to the meeting. - 12/4/15

Iran new oil contract comes under criticism

- A day after Iran's Ministry of Petroleum unveiled a new format for investment in its oil and gas sector, criticism is rising that future contracts with foreign companies are poised to compromise national interests and incur big losses. - 11/29/15

The Tehran Summit: Iran's biggest oil investment event opens

- An important conference opens in Tehran to lay out 50 oil and gas projects for development through foreign investment which Iran hopes to trickle in with the lifting of Western sanctions. As many as 250 representatives of companies from 33 countries are attending the conference which will also feature Iran's introduction of a new contract format offering better incentives to investors than the previous buy-back deal. - 11/28/15

After summit in Tehran, GECF urges cooperation over market issues

- A landmark summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) wrapped up in Iran's capital Tehran on Monday evening. The GECF member states at the end of the summit issued a declaration that underscored the need to facilitate stronger cooperation over a series of industry issues including the transfer of expertise and pricing mechanisms. - 11/24/15

GECF summit opens in Tehran

- A landmark summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) has opened in the Iranian capital Tehran with the participation of the heads of nine member states. Presidents of Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Turkmenistan as well as the Algerian prime minister are the key participants. - 11/23/15

US conglomerate General Electric sees opportunities in Iran

- GE Oil and Gas, the US conglomerate General Electric's oil division, says it sees opportunities in Iran as foreign firms are holding their breath for a lifting of sanctions to return to the country. - 11/22/15

Gas-rich nations meet in Tehran ahead of summit

- An extraordinary meeting of gas exporting countries has begun in Tehran ahead of a Monday summit which will gather several leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss issues related to gas production, exports and pricing. - 11/21/15

Obama says no more reductions of Iran oil purchases

- US President Barack Obama emphasized on Wednesday that Washington will not seek future reductions of oil purchases from Iran and is committed to keep Tehran's oil export at the levels of 2013. - 11/19/15

Growth, Energy and Climate: a View From Iran

- For the past several months most Iranians have been caught up in a "wait-and-see" collective mindset. Below the surface, in the murky shadows, movement can be detected amongst gigantic coiled up springs waiting for the starting gun. These gargantuan springs come in many shapes and forms. -Daryan Rezazad, Counterpunch - 11/19/15

Iran to host 9 heads of state in GECF summit: Oil Minister

- Iran's oil minister says the Islamic Republic will be hosting nine heads of state and a large group of other dignitaries during the third summit meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). - 11/18/15

Iran lines up $25 billion energy investment

- Iran has put together a package for $25 billion of investment in its booming power industry which is key to the country's economic recovery, head of Iran Power Transmission, Generation and Distribution Company (Tavanir) says. - 11/15/15

Iran signs second gas deal with Iraq

- Iran has signed a new contract with Iraq to export natural gas to the country's southern port city of Basra. Based on the contract, Iran will pipe a daily of 20-25 million cubic meters (mcm/d) of gas for Basra for a period of six years. The supply - that will increase to 45-60 mcm/d in a later stage - will be used to feed the main power plant of the city. - 11/12/15

Iran unveils long-awaited oil contracts

- Iran's Ministry of Petroleum publishes the new framework of oil and gas contracts which will be presented formally to foreign companies in a conference in Tehran later this month. The Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC), published on the website of the ministry's Shana news agency, was given the go-ahead by the government for implementation. - 11/11/15

Russia, Iran plan Caspian oil, gas swap

- Russia and Iran plan oil and gas swap as part of their new push to step up trade which is relatively minuscule compared with their strong political ties. Representatives of a major Russian energy company will arrive in Tehran soon for discussions on swap of crude oil, oil products and gas, Iran's Deputy Petroleum Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia said on Monday. - 11/3/15

Italy's Eni and France's Total ready to return to Iran

- Eni's Chief Upstream Officer Antonio Vella told an energy forum in Tehran that the company plans to use the latest technologies in Iran's oil projects, stressing that this is crucial in decreasing the project costs. Another European oil major - France's Total - also announced at the same forum in Tehran on Monday that it is ready to provide the loans required for the development of Iran's oil sector projects - 10/20/15

Russia's Energy Minister Novak due in Iran for important visit

- Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will visit Iran on Oct. 21 at the head of a large economic delegation to discuss expansion of bilateral trade. In Tehran, Novak will meet Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh and other officials as the two countries seek to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion a year from $2 billion at present. - 10/16/15

Iran to launch over 50 new oil projects

- Iran says it plans to introduce above 50 new oil projects to international investors in what will be a key section of the country's plans to boost oil production in an emerging post-sanctions era. - 10/8/15

Shell, Total get first gas stations in Iran

- Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total are the first foreign companies ever to win access to Iran's retail energy market after getting permit for 200 service stations which they will set up across the energy-rich country. ​ - 10/2/15

Iran inks gas deal as Omani minister visits

- Iran and Oman have signed an agreement on studying an undersea gas pipeline across the Persian Gulf in a project worth $60 billion, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Exports Company (NIGEC) says. - 9/21/15

India's OVL submits $10bn proposal to develop Iran gas field

- India's ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), which is the overseas arm of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has offered a proposal worth USD 10 billion for development of Iran's Farzad B offshore gas field. - 9/18/15

EU sees Iran as major gas supplier

- The European Commission estimates that Iran could become a major natural gas supplier to the European Union by the next decade, a new report says. According to an EU official, cited by the Wall Street Journal, the bloc could import up to 35 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Iran by 2030 that would help reduce dependence on Russian shipments. - 9/15/15

Iran drops oil price to grab market share

- Latest trading data figures show Iran has lowered the quarterly price for its flagship crude to the lowest in three years in a bid to lure Asian buyers to lock in more term supplies next year. - 9/11/15

Baku tells Tehran to join EU gas pipeline plan

- Iran's media say Azerbaijan has officially proposed to Iran to join a key project to export natural gas to Europe. Azerbaijan reportedly wants to engage Iran in gas exports to Europe through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). - 8/19/15
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