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Iran to work through joint ventures under new oil system

Feb. 24, 2014 at 5:47 AM

TEHRAN, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Iran will work "shoulder-to-shoulder" with foreign energy companies in joint ventures set up under a new contract system, a government official said.

Mehdi Hosseini, director of an Oil Ministry committee tasked with revising Iran's oil contracts, said the government was scrapping buy-back contracts in favor of joint ventures with international energy companies.

"Under new contracts, Iranian experts will work shoulder-to-shoulder with foreign investment companies in order to become familiar with the latest technologies of the world," he was quoted as saying Sunday by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV.

Under the former system, Iran paid contractors a pre-determined price for the hydrocarbons produced.

In the new system, the National Iranian Oil Co. forms joint ventures with international companies that will get a portion of resources produced.

Representatives from French energy company Total were among delegates who visited Tehran in early February as part of a French trade mission.

Iran says it's ready to start courting foreign investors now that it secured sanctions relief through an interim nuclear agreement reached in November with Western powers.