Last updated: 6 October, 2015

Post-sanctions Iran to launch 50 new oil projects: official

Iran is to introduce over 50 new oil exploration and production contracts in the near future, the head of the country’s oil contracts re-negotiation team told a conference in London on Tuesday.

Seyed Mehdi Hosseini, whose country is seen as a major untapped energy producer, announced a “new chapter of cooperation” with the international oil industry at the “Oil and Money” conference.

Under a July agreement with Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the United States, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions imposed on its economy, including on the oil sector.

The new contracts will be launched at a conference in Tehran in November, and then in London in February.

Details about the projects were not released, but incentives for international investors should be better than those available in Iraq or Mexico, according to Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of energy consulting group FGE.

“Opportunities in Iran are endless,” Fesharaki said.

Energy sector companies and businesses from other sectors have travelled to Iran to seek market opportunities since the agreement to lift sanctions, but many investors remain cautious.

“Iran holds potentially interesting promises and perspectives. We have to see how the market will develop,” said Shell Chief Executive Ben Van Beurden.

“At this point in time it is premature to say, let’s wait and see what the conditions are.”

In the months after sanctions are lifted, Iran could increase its oil production by 500,000 barrels per day, according to Hosseini.