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Iran to roll out new oil contract regime

Plan nearly completed, oil minister says.

By
Daniel J. Graeber

TEHRAN, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Iran will be ready to unveil a new oil contract regime by early 2015 should sanctions pressure ease, top energy officials said.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said the "final touches" are being put on a new oil contract system and then will be put before government officials for approval.

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Economic sanctions imposed on Iran in response to its controversial nuclear program have constrained oil production. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its latest monthly market report output from member state Iran was around 2.7 million barrels per day, about 7 percent less than it was in 2012.

"In case the sanctions are annulled, a new model of oil contracts will be unveiled [at a February oil conference] in London" Mehdi Hosseini, head of the ministry's contract committee, said Wednesday.

The new contract proposal would do away with buy-back contracts, where Tehran agrees to pre-set price, and replace them with a joint venture system, where international companies would be paid with a share of the output.

Iran under the terms of an agreement with six world powers working to resolve the nuclear impasse can export around 1 million bpd. That limited relief from sanctions could be cancelled should diplomatic efforts fail by the end of the year.

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