TEHRAN, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Iran said it's been vetting interest from major European energy companies eager to wade into the oil and gas sector once sanctions pressures ease.
During an investment conference in Tehran later this month, the Iranian government is expected to roll out the terms of contracts for the post-sanctions era. The National Iranian Oil Co. said the country needs at least $250 billion in new investments to bring its energy sector back to full strength.
The U.S. Treasury Department estimated Iran was out about $40 billion in revenue last year as a result of sanctions
Speaking to SHANA, the Iranian Oil Ministry's news website, BP President of Middle East operations Michael Townsend said there are potential opportunities for future work in the Islamic republic.
"It is fantastic to see what Iran has done in the oil industry with sanctions being in place," he said. "What we all look for is what this new era brings."
BP officials had confirmed the company would look at opportunities in Iran once the sanctions climate permits it to do so.
In a monthly newsletter, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Iran is expected to start up dozens of oil and gas projects, worth an estimated $185 billion, by the end of the year. Sanctions, easing as a result of a July nuclear agreement with world powers, have nevertheless starved Iran's energy sector of much-needed new investments.
Mohammad-Reza Takeyedi, a vice president at the National Iranian Drilling Co., said a memorandum of understanding was signed with Italian energy company Eni on work in the country.
"We have also been negotiating with a qualified German company on drilling services, investment, and exchange of technology," he said.
In October, Robert Lechner, a spokesman for Austrian energy company OMV, told UPI there were still obstacles in the way of investment in Iran.
Iran said it could add another 500,000 barrels of oil per day to the international market after sanctions are lifted.