NIOC Operations in Azerbaijan

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The National Iranian Oil Company operates in Azerbaijan through its subsidiary Naftiran Intertrade Co, which owns a 10 percent stake in the Shah Deniz project.[1]

When the Shah Deniz concession was first granted in 1996, privately owned Oil Industries' Engineering and Construction (OIEC) was the Iranian member of the group. However in 2001 it became clear that the OIEC lacked sufficient funds to cover its investment commitments and sold its stake to the state-controlled Naftiran.[2]

When international sanctions were imposed on the Iranian regime in 2011, it was unclear whether Iranian investments in the Shah Deniz field through the NIOC would be subject to sanctions. As of early 2012 their omission in the new round of sanctions through the Iran Threat Reductions Act (ITRA) made the project safe for the time being.[3]


  1. BP and EU lobbied U.S. on Iran sanctionsTeheran TImes, 24 January 2012.
  2. Senator Lugar on US-Azerbaijani relations, BP and energy…, 28 December 2012.
  3. IRAN SANCTIONS: WHAT IMPACT FOR THE SHAH-DENIZ PROJECT?Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 25 January 2012.