Recently, the Iranian regime’s ministry of oil signed an oil agreement with an unknown party, which has caused great controversy. Reports stated the regime signed a 20-year contract on the South Pars oil field on March 15, 2022, with rumors suggesting that the contract is with a company named Avangard.
The contract was signed by the regime in secrecy, and no details of the contract were made public at the time. Even many of the regime’s experts were surprised about the reports on the deal and expressed their frustration and surprise.
On March 16, the state-run website Tahririeh Studies Institute wrote, “Yesterday, the contract of the South Pars oil layer with the IPC contract model was signed between the National Oil Company and an anonymous company, no details of which were provided. The story of this controversial contract is that an anonymous company called ‘Avangard’ has undertaken the development of this field under a 20-year contract. The deal was signed in the final days of the Iranian year when no one was paying attention.”
The official website of the regime’s Ministry of Oil refrained from publishing any details about the party to the contract and the financial size of the contract. This decision was very strange for the mafia-led regime, with its officials saying that this is the first time that something like this has happened in the oil industry.
The important thing about this contract, according to the regime’s media, is that over the past year many of petroleum and economic experts have warned about the devastating consequences of this contract for the country’s economy. Many of them warned that such a secret contract is auctioning the country’s wealth.
This becomes even more clear considering that the regime’s then-oil minister Bijan Zanganeh refused to agree with the contract, therefore the regime’s economic mafia asked Mohsen Khojasteh Mehr, the current head of the National Oil Company to sign the contract.
As some of the regime’s state-run media like the Tahririeh website said, “an internet search with the keyword Avangard simply shows that the company, which now owns the 20-year-old South Pars oil field, has no external presence.”
Therefore, it seems all the skepticism about auctioning off the people’s national wealth is true and well-founded. Another reason is that the regime has chosen to sign this contract close to the end of the nuclear talks. Many regime officials had suggested that they should wait until the result of the nuclear talks before signing such a huge contract with an international company.
All of the facts uncovered regarding these oil contracts show that the regime has auctioned around 900 million barrels of the country’s oil for at least the next 20 years.
The state-run website Rooz-e No revealed another strange fact on March 16. It quoted Saeed Sayos, one of the regime’s oil experts, who spoke about the Avangard company, as saying, “Avangard is a consulting firm for FPSU and has previously worked with Iran, but has not yet operated oil pipelines, but has participated in joint ventures and shipping (shipping and marine industries).”
In addition to the South Pars Oil Field, most of Iran’s oil fields are run with the help of foreign companies due to the regime’s other priorities, like its missile and nuclear projects, while investing most of the country’s resources in these fields.
According to official analysis, the volume of reserves in the South Pars oil field exceeds more than one billion barrels. Iran’s domestic companies do not have the capital, power, or even the technology to extract from this field. So, to date, Iran has had almost no extraction from the South Pars oil field.
This is likely to cause great economic damage to the next generations while fossil reserves will not be preserved for them. The reality is that common fields are like a common reservoir. If one country does not extract from it, the partnering country will extract all the reserves, even the other country’s share.
Many of the regime’s experts have been comparing the damages of this contract with the Farzad B oil contract between the regime and India. Like this latest contract, that agreement was signed in secrecy. This project gave India the right to exploit and extract natural gas from the Farzad B field for up to 30 years. In addition, India had the right to share the profits from the sale of the gas.
Although the details of the plan were not officially released, it appeared that India intended to take advantage of the regime’s sanctions, which are the result of the regime’s nuclear and missile projects, its appalling human rights dossier, and its meddling in the Middle East. the same thing seems to be happening in South Pars as well.
At that time, Bijan Zaganeh said, “The offer made by India does not bring any profit to Iran for 30 years and whatever is produced, India will take it as wages and operating expenses.”