Given the gaps available to Iran in the current U.S. sanctions environment to continue to export its oil – principally via rebranding as Iraq oil and various shipping scams – Tehran is making a move to dramatically improve the recovery rate on its key oil sites. Last week, the Islamic Republic’s Petroleum Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, announced the awarding of a US$1.3 billion contract to improve oil recovery at two onshore oil fields in Khuzestan province to Iran’s main infrastructure and power construction company, MAPNA Group. In theory, as well, the awarding of this contract to MAPNA may be a sign of a partial shift in Iranian politics back to the more Western-friendly moderate view espoused by President Hassan Rouhani and his supporters.
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