OMV Speaks of Iran Prospects for Investors

OMV Speaks of Iran Prospects for InvestorsOMV Speaks of Iran Prospects for Investors

 An investment opportunity exists in the Iranian energy sector, but there are a series of hurdles, Austrian energy company OMV said.

The Iranian government has approved a draft document outlining contracts for exploration, production and development of oil and natural gas fields in a post-sanctions business climate, UPI reported.

Under the new terms, the National Iranian Oil Company will set up joint ventures with foreign companies, which will be paid with a share of the output.  Ahead of a string of planned investment conferences, Iranian officials have met with European energy representatives to discuss the terms of new contracts in the oil and gas sector. OMV, whose chief executive officer Rainer Seele was among those who joined a recent trade visit to Tehran, said the dialogue with Iran remains open, but there were no concrete developments in the works.

Iranian officials have said OMV could help double production from Iran's oil and gas fields. OMV spokesman Robert Lechner said in response to email questions that the potential exists, but there is nothing immediate on the agenda.

"To unleash this vast potential, three elements are required," he said. "The lifting of sanctions, a competitive fiscal and legal regime to attract foreign direct investment and state-of-the-art technological knowhow."

Iran said it could add another 500,000 barrels of oil per day to the international market after sanctions are lifted.

Seele met with Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh last month on utilizing Austrian technology to boost extraction from the country's rich oil and gas fields.

OMV is now working on plans to cut costs and expand low-cost production, Seele said last week. He said the strategy would be presented early next year and suggested that Iran and Russia were among promising prospects for increasing output.