“Iran is a land of opportunities for investors in the oil industry within which Iranian experts implement high technical expertise and experience” is what Pedro Aquino (pictured), President and CEO of the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) has stated about the industry.
In his recent interview, the Philippine oil official talked about strength of Iran oil industry and possible opportunities and future plans for his company in the oil-rich country which is as follows:
Please describe the previously implemented projects in the country and in the other oil-rich regions of the world
The company has mainly operated inside the Philippines, including exploration and development projects in Balabac and Palawan Islands blocks. In 2009, PNOC EC also started its international oil trading business and has successfully supplied various petroleum products to oil companies like Bangladesh National Petroleum Corporation (BPC) and Pertamina Energy Services (PES). On the offshore front, together with SPEX and Chevron, we have established one of the largest gas power plants of the country which is the Malampaya that provides 40%-45% of Luzon’s power generation requirement with a total combined capacity of 3,250MW.
From your perspective, how do you evaluate the scientific and technical potential of Iranian engineers and Iranian oil companies?
I think Iran is a land of opportunity for investors in the oil industry. Iranian experts have high technical expertise and experience. In fact, during the sanctions, Iran was able to manage and develop very well their vast oil and gas industry without the presence of any foreign companies.
In your opinion, how is the NISOC scientific capacity and structure of the company?
The National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) is one of the biggest oil companies in the world and is responsible for managing most of Iran’s oil reserves. We have heard that they are producing 3 million bbl of crude per day of NIOC’s total production.
Is there any working history of the Philippine National Oil Company in Iran’s oil industry? What are the future plans?
Yes, in the past we’ve been a buyer of Iranian oil. Currently we are discussing the purchase of crude oil from Iran. According to the strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Oil Ministry to increase oil exports, the Philippine National Oil Company would hope to play a constructive role in the future contracts.
When did you start the negotiations with NISOC to cooperate in their projects?
We have joined the Pergas International Consortium about a year ago in order to seek investment opportunities in Iran upstream sector and long-term purchase of crude oil.
How do you evaluate the NISOC scientific and technical level compared with companies that you have previously cooperated with them?
Considering the valuable experiences of the NISOC, they are no less than the super majors and NISOC can be serious competitor for the super majors.
According that the PNOC EC is one of the leading members in Pergas international consortium, what do you think about the recent MOU signed between the NISOC and consortium?
We are very pleased when the consortium signed this MOU and we hope that the prospective contract provides more opportunities for cooperation with Iran and Philippine in the field of energy.
How do you see the abilities of the consortium to carry out the obligations mentioned in the MOU?
The consortium is made up of an eclectic mix of experienced international companies. These companies have worked in the past as partners with companies such as Shell, Statoil and Total, but now we see that they formed a strong consortium. In addition, the presence of one of the most prestigious universities of Iran (Sharif University of Technology) in our consortium demonstrates the eagerness of scientific cooperation with the Iranian side.
In implementation of the MOU, to what extent do you count on the Sharif University of Technology as a member of the Pergas International consortium?
I personally was present during the signing of the MOU between the consortium and Sharif University of Technology and I saw a lot of potential in the university. I’ve heard that the best Iranian students are studying at this university and Sharif appears to be able to develop and transfer new technologies to play a key role in Iran’s oil industry