Ministry of Petroleum (Iran)

Ministry of Petroleum
وزارت نفت
Agency overview
Formed 12 March 1951 (1951-03-12)
Jurisdiction Islamic Republic of Iran
Headquarters Tehran, Iran
Minister responsible
Child agencies
Official MoP Youtube channel
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The Ministry of Petroleum (MoP) (Persian: وزارت نفت Vezârat-e Naft) manages the oil industry, the producer of oil and petrochemical products. MoP is in charge of all issues pertaining to exploration, extraction, exploitation, distribution and exportation of crude oil and oil products. In addition, according to the "Imports and Exports Regulation Act", issuing import licenses for such products is also among the functions of the Ministry of Petroleum.[1] According to BP, Iran's has 137.6 billion barrels (2.188×1010 m3) of proven oil reserves and 29.61 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves. Iran ranks third in the world in oil reserves and second in gas reserves.[2]

According to the Fourth Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plan, the Government has been required to transfer at least 10% of the activities related to the exploration, extraction and production of crude oil to the private sector, while in the meantime retaining its ownership of oil resources. This is also the case in other fields of the Ministry of Petroleum's activities.[1]

Iran plans to invest $500 billion in the oil sector until 2025.[3] As of 2010, US$70 billion worth of oil and gas projects are under construction.[4] Iran's annual oil and gas revenues will reach $250 billion by 2015.[4]


The Iranian constitution prohibits the granting of petroleum rights on a concessionary basis or direct equity stake. However, the 1987 Petroleum Law permits the establishment of contracts between the ministry, state companies and "local and foreign national persons and legal entities." Buyback contracts, for instance, are arrangements in which the contractor funds all investments, receives remuneration from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in the form of an allocated production share, then transfers operation of the field to NIOC after a set number of years, at which time the contract is completed.

Since the 1979 revolution in Iran, the country has been under constant US unilateral sanctions. The first U.S. sanctions against Iran were formalized in November 1979, and during the hostage crisis, many sanctions were leveled against the Iranian government. By 1987 the import of Iranian goods into the United States had been banned. In 1995, President of the United States Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12957,[5] banning U.S. investment in Iran's energy sector, followed a few weeks later by Executive Order 12959[5] eliminating all trade and investment and virtually all interaction between the United States and Iran.

Specifically the ministry has been on the sanction list of the European Union since 16 October 2012.[6]

National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)

National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is in charge of oil and gas exploration and production, refining and oil transportation.

National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), a subsidiary of NIOC, controls the second largest fleet of tankers in OPEC.[7] National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) is also an important subsidiary of NIOC. NISOC is producing about 83% percent of all crude oil and 16% percent of natural gas produced in Iran.

National Iranian Gas Company

National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) manages gathering, treatment, processing, transmission, distribution, and exports of gas and gas liquids.

The huge reserves of natural gas put Iran in the second place, in terms of the natural gas reserve quantity, among other countries, only next to the Russian Federation, with an estimate of proven reserve quantity close to 23 bcm.[1] Iran's gas reserves are exploited primarily for domestic use.

National Petrochemical Company

National Petrochemical Company (NPC) handles petrochemical production, distribution, and exports. National Iranian Petrochemical Company's output capacity will increase to over 100 million tpa by 2015 from an estimated 50 million tpa in 2010 thus becoming the world' second largest chemical producer globally after Dow Chemical with Iran housing some of the world's largest chemical complexes.[8][9][10]

National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company

National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) handles oil refining and transportation, with some overlap to NIOC.

There are eight refineries with a potential capacity of 950,000 barrels per day (151,000 m3/d) and one refinery complex in the country with a total refining capacity of over 15 kbbl/d (2,400 m3/d) (in Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan, Abadan, Kermanshah, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Arak and Lavan Island) and a storage capacity of 8 milliard litre. Abundance of basic material, like natural gas, in the country provide favorable conditions for development and expansion of petrochemical plants.

Revenues from crude oil

Iran's oil and gas projected revenues chart by the International Monetary Fund. Officials in Iran estimate that Iran's annual oil and gas revenues could reach $250 billion by 2015 once the current projects come on stream.[4]
Iran's top oil export destinations, 2010.

Iran’s total revenues from the sale of oil amounted to $77 billion in Iranian year 1387 (2008–09).[11] The average sale price of Iran’s crude oil during that year was $100 per barrel.[11] According to the National Iranian Oil Company, Iran’s average daily production of crude oil stood at 4 million barrels (640,000 m3) per day. Of this amount, 55% was exported and the remainder was consumed domestically.[11] As of 2010, oil income accounts for 80% of Iran's foreign currency revenues and 60% of the nation's overall budget.[12] Iran exported over 844 million barrels (134,200,000 m3) of oil in the one year to 21 March 2010, averaging around 2.3 million barrels (370,000 m3) a day. The exports included around 259 million barrels (41,200,000 m3) of light crude and more than 473 million barrels (75,200,000 m3) of heavy crude oil. Japan, China, South Africa, Brazil, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Spain, India and the Netherlands are the main importers of Iran's crude oil.[12] Iran's annual oil revenues reached $100 billion in 2011.[13] Iran's annual oil and gas revenues are expected to reach $250 billion by 2015,[4] including $100 billion from Iran's South Pars giant gas field.[14]

Reserves and production

Iran holds 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas. It is OPEC's second largest exporter and the world's fourth oil producer.
Iran's oil & gas production (1970–2030)
Proven oil reserves
Country Billions of Barrels
Saudi Arabia 262.7
Canada 178.9
Iran 133.3
Iraq 112.5
United Arab Emirates 97.8
Kuwait 96.5
Venezuela 75.6
Top oil producers
Country Millions of Barrels
Saudi Arabia 9.5
Russia 9.2
United States 7.6
Iran 4.0
China 3.5
European Union 3.4
Mexico 3.4

Public projects

As of 2012, the Ministry of Petroleum in Iran handles 4,000 public (non-oil) projects across the country. The estimated value of the projects stands at 53,868 trillion rials (approximately $4 trillion).[15]

See also


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Coordinates: 35°42′25.85″N 51°24′41.91″E / 35.7071806°N 51.4116417°E / 35.7071806; 51.4116417

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