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Iran Offers 50 Oil Projects to Foreign Investors

Source: Reuters 11/28/2015, Location: Asia

Iran offered about 50 oil and gas projects to be developed by foreign investors with local partners under a new scheme it hopes will initially generate $25 billion in investments, state media reported.

Iran reached a deal with world powers in July, under which sanctions will be lifted in return for it scaling down its nuclear programme.

It has outlined plans to rebuild its main industries and trade relationships following the agreement, targeting oil and gas projects worth $185 billion by 2020.

Some 135 energy companies attended a conference in Tehran to hear the terms of a new energy contract - which it calls its integrated petroleum contract (IPC).

"The estimate is that if we can draw about $25 billion (in foreign investments) in a first phase, that would be a very good figure," Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters in remarks carried by state television.

Iran needs Western oil companies to help revive its aging oilfields and develop new oil and gas projects and the new oil contracts are part of its drive to attract Western investors.

British Petroleum, France's Total, Norway's Statoil, China's Sinopec, Shell, Italy's Eni and Spanish oil major Repsol were among companies attending the conference, the oil ministry's website Shana reported.

Zanganeh repeated that U.S. companies would also be allowed to participate in IPCs, under which foreign investors should have local partners and commit to technology transfer.

"The current (crude oil) prices and even less will not create a problem for the projects' reimbursement or profits because of low finished cost in our industry," Shana quoted Zanganeh as saying, adding that Iran's production cost was $10 per barrel.

The price of oil has fallen to around $45 per barrel from as much as $115 in the middle of last year.

Iran's output is down one million barrels per day at 2.7 million bpd since the start of 2012 when sanctions were imposed.

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