Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Austrian energy company OMV said Wednesday it signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran to discuss the country's rebounding energy sector.
OMV delegates hosted representatives from Iran's Dana Energy Co., a player in exploration and development, to sign new arrangements for potential work.
"The parties agreed to evaluate possible upcoming development and re-development projects in the Iranian oil and gas industry," OMV said in a statement.
OMV was one of the early movers into an Iranian energy sector that opened up in the wake of a multilateral nuclear deal that brought sanctions relief in exchange for scaled-back nuclear ambitions. European counterparts like French supermajor Total have also waded into the Iranian energy sector by signing memorandums of understanding of their own.
In a strategy session on future opportunities in exploration and production, OMV CEO Rainer Seele said Iran was among the top priorities for the company. OMV last year signed preliminary agreements with the National Iranian Oil Co. to explore the opportunities in a complex of fields near the western border with Iraq.
OMV was among the 29 foreign oil and gas companies listed by the Iranian Oil Ministry in early January as qualified to take part in any upcoming tenders for exploration and production.
According to the NIOC, it's a "big step" in opening Iranian oil and natural gas fields up to Western investors.
Iran is the only member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that has an allowance for production growth according to a deal reached last year. Apart from oil, Iran is one of the world leaders in natural gas production and is developing the giant South Pars gas complex in the Persian Gulf.