Iran is planning to invest in oil refineries overseas to establish steady customers for its oil exports, according to the country’s deputy oil minister Abbas Kazemi.

Tehran has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Brazil to build a 300,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) refinery in South American country and has also negotiated with groups of investors from China and India, Kazemi was quoted saying in Iran’s Mehr News Agency (MNA).

The negotiations with Indian investors were over a 50-50 partnership to build a 400,000 b/d refinery in the south Asian country.

“Building refineries abroad with the participation of international investors can guarantee the security of sales and exports of crude oil from Iran for a period of 20 to 25 years,” MNA reported Kazemi as saying.

“In other words, with the construction of refineries abroad, Iran can count on permanent and stable customers for a couple of decades and guarantee demand and supply for long terms,” he added.

Previous plans for new refineries in Syria, Malaysia and Indonesia had fallen through at the feasibility phase.

Investing in refineries abroad is an emerging strategy for oil producers in the Middle East, which are competing for market share in Asia.

Saudi Aramco has entered a joint venture with Petrochina and Yunnan Yuntianhua Co to build a 260,000 b/d refinery in Fujian, southwest China.

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