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Iran has clinched its first post-sanctions refining deal – a memorandum of understanding (MOU) announced by Italy’s Saipem on 25 January for revamping and upgrading the Shiraz and Tabriz plants. It was preceded by a Hellenic Petroleum supply agreement and followed by another Saipem deal for pipelines (see p2).
Saipem says the refineries agreement, signed in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, concerns “potential cooperation on major projects in Iran.” The MOU envisages “discussions aimed at Saipem’s potential cooperation” in work at the two plants.
While the scope of any potentially resulting projects would be small compared with the major upstream projects which Iran is currently touting to international oil companies, the deal could help Iran to regain access to the state-of-the art refining technologies its seeks to produce cleaner fuels.
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