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Firms Reorted in Open Sources as Having Commercial Activity in Iran’s Oil, Gas, and Petrochemical Sectors
Joseph A. Christoff
Iran's oil export revenues have accounted for more than 24% of Iran's GDP and 50%-76% of the Iranian government's revenues in recent years. Iran has the world's third largest oil reserves and second largest gas reserves, and is the world's fourth largest producer of crude oil. IHS Global Insight reports that Iran's priorities for the next five years are to (1) raise oil production and exports as much as possible, (2) increase natural gas production for domestic use, and (3) expand refining capacity if financially and technically possible. Iran prohibits non-Iranian firms from obtaining an ownership interest by investing in oil and gas fields, but allows them to enter into "buy-back" arrangements in which the foreign firms may receive entitlements to oil or gas for a limited time in exchange for the funds they expend on the project. U.S. law restricts U.S. firms from investing in Iran's energy sector through a variety of sanctions administered by the Dept. of the Treasury to discourage Iran from supporting terrorism and developing nuclear weapons. In addition, the Iran Sanctions Act, as amended, provides for sanctions against persons, including foreign firms, who invest more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector in any 12-month period. This correspondence (1) provides a list of foreign firms reported in open sources as engaging in commercial activity in Iran's oil, gas, or petrochemical sectors from 2005 to 2009 and (2) provides information about these sectors. Tables.
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