Iran lays ground work for new oil investments

Feb. 27, 2014 at 7:08 AM

TEHRAN, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The ground is laid to bring some of the largest energy companies in the world back to the Iranian oil sector, an Oil Ministry contract adviser said.

Mehdi Hosseini, a contract adviser to Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, said revised oil contracts could bring in $100 million in new investments during the next four years.

A great deal of attention is already paid to Iran's oil and "the grounds will be prepared for the renewed presence of big oil companies in the country" with the new contract system, he was quoted by Iranian state broadcaster Press TV as saying Wednesday.

The Iranian government last weekend scrapped buy-back contracts in favor of joint ventures with international energy companies. Hosseini said Iran would work "shoulder-to-shoulder" with foreign energy companies under the new contract system.

Iran under the former system paid contractors a pre-determined price for the hydrocarbons produced. The National Iranian Oil Co. under the new system forms joint ventures with international energy companies, who'll get a portion of resources produced.

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

The U.S. government said, however, Iran is not yet open for business.

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