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Iran plans to revise energy contracts

TEHRAN, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A new way of thinking about Iranian energy contracts could help meet the expectations of domestic and foreign investors, an Iranian lawmaker said.

Shana, the Iranian Oil Ministry's official news agency, said the government expects to unveil a new framework for oil contracts within the next six months.

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"It seems that the existing contracts could not meet the expectations of domestic and foreign investors and contractors and we need to reconsider them," Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, a lawmaker tasked with assessing energy contracts, was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Western sanctions on Iran's energy sector are designed to starve it of revenue it could use to finance its controversial nuclear program.

"In revision of oil contracts, key and positive points in the oil contracts [signed in] Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the North Sea littoral states will be studied and taken into account," Manouchehri said. "In case they do not contravene Iran's national interests, they will be used."

At home, he said contractors working in the giant offshore South Pars natural gas field don't have production obligations under existing rules. That would change under a new system, he said.

If Western sanctions ease, he said Iran may become a premier attraction for foreign investors.

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