U.S. companies welcome investment in Iran’s oil sector if sanctions lifted: official
Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.2
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: U.S. companies will welcome investment in Iran's oil sector if the international sanctions against the country are lifted, IRNA quoted Iranian deputy oil minister Ali Majedi as saying on March 2.
U.S. companies are more cautious than their European rivals to reenter the Iranian oil market. However, they will welcome any opportunity to participate in Iran's oil and gas projects once the political situation is improved, Majedi said.
Although U.S. companies have frequently announced willingness to come back to Iran, but no formal negotiations have been conducted so far, he noted.
Iran's oil industry will be heading forward with or without sanctions, the Tasnim News agency quoted Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh as saying on March 1.
The sanctions have not hindered the trend of progress of Iran's oil industry, he said, adding that the new model of contracts will help the country circumvent the sanctions.
Iran is mulling 20-25-year term contracts for oil and gas development projects being awarded to foreign executives operating in Iran, said Ayeh Katebi, an adviser to the revising committee of Oil Ministry contracts on Feb. 24, IRNA reported.
Unlike the third generation contracts, the new contract model offers foreign executives the prolonged projects up to 25 years, Katebi said.
She said that the previous models required contractors to leave the country 3 to 5 years after their projects were completed.
The former contract model was short-term which resulted in the sluggish transfer of technology in oil facilities, however, the new contracts have tackled this issue by prolonging the term of the development project.
On Feb. 23, Iranian Oil Ministry announced the details of the new type of oil contracts designed to attract foreign executives to develop Iranian oil and gas fields.
The new scheme was unveiled on the second and last day of a national seminar on oil contracts revision.
Representatives from international companies had attended the ceremony to declare the new contract model.
On February 9, Mehdi Hosseini, who heads the Oil Ministry's Oil Contracts Revision Committee, said Iran's new contracts are sufficiently flexible and have been compiled in line with international conditions.
Iran's Oil Ministry plans to hold a conference in London in July to introduce new contract terms to international companies.
World oil giants have shown interest in returning to Iran following the easing of sanctions against Iran in light of the implementation of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.
Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum (BP), Malaysia's Petronas, Spain's Repsol, Russia's second largest oil producer, Lukoil, France's Total and Italy's Eni have expressed their willingness to resume work in Iran.