IPC to Pave Way for Private Sector Investment

IPC to Pave Way for Private Sector InvestmentIPC to Pave Way for Private Sector Investment

Iran's new oil contracts, which will be presented in a November conference in the capital Tehran, will facilitate private sector investment in the country's lucrative oil and gas projects, the head of legal affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company said on Tuesday.

"Iran needs solid and serious investments to make up for the decline in oil production and exports that it experienced under the harsh sanctions imposed by the West," Ali Akbar Mahrokhzad was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying during the Second National Convention on Energy Law in Tehran.

Reports by the Institute for International Energy Studies, Majlis Research Center and International Energy Agency indicate that the national reserves are deteriorating as a direct result of sanctions.

The official lamented the fact that the industry has so far failed to attract a substantial amount of foreign investments over the past few years and warned that the continuation of the trend will adversely affect Iran's regional and global standings.

Mahrokhzad underscored the importance of attracting investments in the development projects of oilfields and increasing output through incorporating enhanced oil recovery techniques.

"The proper implementation of IPC will go a long way toward completing oil operations during the life cycle of an oilfield and integrating exploration phases. It will also give a boost to national development and production," he said.

"It could be a springboard for the oil and gas industries' upstream sector."

Iran is slated to unveil the new oil contracts in a conference in Tehran next month before a full-fledged unveiling in London on February 22-24.

Officials say Tehran has sweetened the terms of the new contracts to attract billions of dollars in foreign direct investment for up to 50 oil exploration and production projects.

Mahrokhzad accentuated the fact that no potentials in the country must be spared to empower and support the private sector along the lines of the amendment to Article 44 of Iran's Constitution that calls for speeding up the move toward economic privatization.

"Transparency in legal procedures with an economic and project-oriented outlook is key to attract investments in the oil industry, which will be realized once the government takes up a strategic and macro screening approach and lays the foundation for the private sector's participation in economic development," he said.

The Second National Convention on Energy Law was a two-day gathering of experts and senior academic figures to address the loopholes in contracts or legal proceedings related to the energy sector.