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August 13, 2015 4:27 pm

Report: Iran Plans to Woo European Firms With 45 Projects at London Oil Expo

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Iran's South Pars oil and gas field is owned by National Iranian Oil Co. Photo: NIOC.

Iran’s South Pars oil and gas field. Photo: NIOC.

Though EU sanctions against Iran’s oil sector remain in place pending the implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the Islamic Republic has already planned to woo European firms by unveiling some 45 oil- and gas-related projects at a London conference later this year, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The 45 projects will include “exploratory blocs at various development costs,” chairman of Iran’s oil contracts restructuring committee Mehdi Hosseini told Bloomberg. 

Hosseini said Iran may give companies two to three months to decide whether to bid on the projects. Because the conference is in December, this means European companies could start developing Iran’s oil fields early next year.

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He said Iran plans to boost its oil production to 5.7 million barrels a day, which is double its current output of 2.85 million barrels a day, according to Bloomberg. 

“As OPEC’s share increases so does our share and we will need to build capacity. As a preliminary goal in the short run we plan to produce 5 million barrels a day and then go from that to 5.7 million barrels a day,” he said, according to the report.

All of this, of course, depends on the adoption and implementation of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers — the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany — in Vienna last July. If the deal is implemented, pending a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency addressing its concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, international sanctions against Iran’s oil sector — imposed by the U.S. and EU in 2012 — would be peeled back.

Then, companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum that have already expressed interest in Iran’s oil sector, would be free to enter the market.

Iran has been planning such a London expo to invite European developers to its oil fields for a few years. Conferences were originally scheduled for April 2014, and then delayed to February 2015, only to be delayed again when negotiators failed to reach an agreement to lift sanctions by another November 2014 deadline.

Switzerland became the first European country on Wednesday to lift sanctions against the trade and transport of Iran’s petrol industries.

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