US oil executives to travel to Iran

US oil executives to travel to Iran
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Leaders from the United States oil industry are traveling to Iran this week to discuss potential investment opportunities, Iran’s government said.

The delegation of oil company leaders and investors are visiting Iran in anticipation of sanctions being loosened against Tehran, Iran’s state-owned Mehr News Agency reported Monday.

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“It is forecast that by the visit of [the] American delegation this week and in the case of lifting sanctions on Iran's oil industry, we will witness involvement of major international American oil and gas companies in Iran in the future," Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Sheri-Moghaddam told Mehr.

Mehr did not identify the executives who would be on the trip or the companies they will represent.

Current sanctions prevent any direct trading between the U.S. and Iranian oil industries.

Leaders from the U.S. and five other countries reached a tentative deal a month ago with Iran to restrict nuclear work in Iran, which could lead to some sanctions being lifted on Iran.

Negotiators are aiming to reach a final deal on June 30. Congress is considering legislation that could allow lawmakers to review and vote to disapprove the deal. 

Sheri-Moghaddam told Mehr that some European-American oil companies have expressed a desire to trade with Iran, and officials are in discussions with companies from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Before the new sanctions were imposed in 2012, Iran was exporting about 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, according to the Energy Information Administration. It is now down to 1.1 million barrels a day.