Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh (file photo)

Iran to offer new oil contracts to foreign companies by September: Minister

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced that the country plans to offer new oil contracts to foreign companies by September as it welcomes oil companies from Europe and the US.

International oil companies are keen to return quickly to Iran if a nuclear deal currently being negotiated with six world powers leads to sanctions being lifted, Zanganeh was quoted by Platts as saying, in a report published on Monday.

He said oil companies from Europe and the US would be welcome in Iran’s upstream, though he noted that US companies would be particularly valued because of the superior technology they could bring.

Zanganeh met with top oil company executives — including the CEOs of Shell, Total, Eni and Lukoil — on the sidelines of OPEC’s international seminar, which preceded Friday’s ministerial meeting.

“All of them say (they) will come quickly after the sanctions. They know the general framework of the new contract model,” Zanganeh said, referring to a new upstream contract that will be launched later this year, possibly as soon as September, alongside an offering of projects.

Asked how many oil fields would be offered in September, he said, “I don’t know yet. There are mostly the brown fields — for we stress and are interested in oil recovery — like Gachsaran, Maroun, Bibi Hakimeh and Pazanan.”

Discussions with the IOCs had focused on “no particular project,” he noted.

“But we exchanged views about (oil recovery) projects and they didn’t have any problem. They had interest. Some were even familiar with our projects. Like Shell, which had worked for a long time on Aghajari (project).”

Asked whether he would prefer US or European companies, Zanganeh said, “Both. Any of them that come. Of course, Americans are higher in terms of technology. The Europeans don’t have any particular advantage. But we are open for all.”

No meetings took place between Zanganeh and the heads of US majors ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, all of whom participated in the OPEC seminar. He refused to say whether any US companies had made contact via middlemen.

By Tasnim News Agency