Iran invites foreign cos to bid for 50 oil and gas fields

Iran had said that priority would be given to neighbouring nations with which it has border fields.

The Dollar Business Bureau

National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on Monday said that it has put on offer 50 oil and gas fields to overseas bidders. This is the first time the company has done so since the landmark nuclear deal last year with major global powers.

Iran’s deputy oil minister, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, on Monday welcomed a preliminary pact by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to restrict production between 32.5-33 million barrels a day. The agreement by OPEC was reached in September, with the purpose to reduce a global oil oversupply that has depressed prices of oil for the last two years.

The deputy minister told journalists in the capital city of Iran that the deal was a ‘small step, but in the right direction.’

Iran has been trying to revive its oil industry since the international sanctions over its nuclear program have been removed earlier this year. Initially, the country said that it would only consider a production limit after it reaches its pre-sanctions level of 4 million barrels per day. Currently, it has an oil production of 3.85 million barrels a day.

In the meantime, the oil ministry of Iran announced on Sunday that it will invite international companies for the first time to bid for projects in the area of oil and gas. On Monday, the ministry issued the details, mentioning that this would consist of 21 gas fields and 29 oil fields.

It informed that the applications by international companies should be submitted by November 19, and successful companies would be declared on December 7.

Previously, Iran had said that priority would be given to neighbouring nations with which it has border fields, for production and exploration. It has 28 joint onshore and offshore gas and oil fields with these countries.

The country is hoping to attract over $150 billion as foreign investment in its petrochemical, oil and gas industry by 2020.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Oct 18, 2016 12:00 IST