Iranian oil conference postponed

New contract terms for the post-sanctions era were to be unveiled in December.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Updated Sept. 24, 2015 at 8:34 AM
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TEHRAN, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- A London conference aimed at detailing new investment opportunities in the Iranian oil sector has been postponed, the group organizing the event said.

"The Iran oil and gas post-sanction summit has been postponed until Feb. 22-24, 2016," the event organizers said in a statement.

Event organizer CWC Group said in response to email questions the event was postponed following recommendations from the National Iranian Oil Co.

The Iranian oil minister had said new contracts for potential players would be formally outlined during an investment conference scheduled originally for December. Under the new terms, the NIOC would set up joint ventures with foreign companies, which would be paid with a share of the output.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said "all international" energy companies can present bids for projects in Iran's oil industry.

A July nuclear agreement between the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, and Iran could release sanctions pressure on the Iranian oil sector.

Some European energy companies, most recently Italy's Eni, have expressed strong interest in working in the Iranian oil sector, though U.S. companies have stayed on the sidelines because of sanctions still in place.

Ali Marva, chairman of the energy commission in the Iranian parliament, told the Oil Ministry's news website SHANA the country can regain leverage on the global stage, and in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, only through increased production and exports, a lawmaker said.

"Iran will win back its share in global oil competition and it will not have a remarkable effect on oil price fluctuations," he stressed.

According to OPEC's latest estimate, Iranian crude oil production of 2.86 million barrels per day in August was the highest for the Islamic republic since 2013

OPEC's policy of maintaining a steady level of production to ensure adequate market share and satisfy growing demand from Asian economies is in part behind the 50 percent drop in crude oil prices from last year.

The Iranian government said it can't base its decisions on price alone, noting it must work to protect its historical share on the market "at any cost."

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