Glencore’s head of oil Alex Beard traveled to Tehran this week with a small team to meet with officials at Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum and the Iranian National Oil Company, the Financial Times reported.
“Exploratory talks took place around potential business opportunities subject to the removal of the relevant sanctions,” a Glencore spokesman told the British financial daily.
Glencore has a relatively established presence in Iran, with a sizable volume of trade reported in 2012, including $659 million worth of metals, wheat and coal.
The commodity trading house supplied alumina to Iranian Aluminium Company (Iralco) before sanctions were imposed on Iran.
Glencore is also a major mining company through its Xstrata arm and the company might be looking for enterprises in Iran’s massive underdeveloped natural resources sector.
Last month, the country hosted a handful of foreign managers in the sector, including from global miner Rio Tinto, in its biggest mining event yet to roll out reserves for development.
On Wednesday, France’s architectural firm AREP marked a return of European companies to Iran by signing a $7 million deal in Tehran for redevelopment of three main railway stations.
Glencore’s scouting in Iran follows similar trips to Tehran by executives from energy giants Royal-Dutch Shell and Italy’s Eni in June and May to discuss new opportunities for trade.
Iran is lining up new oil contracts for business which it says will offer better incentives to investors and energy companies.
Mehdi Hosseini, in charge of revising Iran's oil investment contracts, said Iran’s oil industry, with an investment plan worth $200 billion, is the most attractive market for international investors.
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