Iran Unlikely to Unveil Oil Contracts in Russia

Iran Unlikely to Unveil Oil Contracts in RussiaIran Unlikely to Unveil Oil Contracts in Russia

Iran is unlikely to unveil the new generation of its oil and gas contracts in a business forum in Russia next month, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

The annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is expected to bring together thousands of high-profile companies and professionals in the country's second-largest city on June 16-18, Interfax news agency reported.

But Novak said chances are slim to see the Islamic Republic use the state-sponsored forum to unveil more details of its long-anticipated Iran Petroleum Contracts that are designed to entice international contractors for investment in the country's sanctions-hit oil and gas industry.

The remark was in response to mounting speculations that Iran could choose St. Petersburg as the next venue for the introduction of its new contracts following a late 2015 conference in Tehran as well as Tehran-Moscow's strong politico-economic bonds.

According to reports, SPIEF 2015 had attracted 102 official delegations, including heads of states as well as leading international organizations and companies.

The Islamic Republic had initially named London for its overseas conference in February. But the convention, which could mark a big leap in Iran's post-sanctions energy plans, was canned due to the delay in getting visas from the British Embassy, as claimed by Iranian officials.

Many European heavyweights such as Total, BP, Eni and Shell have a watchful eye on Iran's exploration and production projects, but they want to learn more about the terms of the contracts before making a return to Iran's emerging oil sector.

Iran says it will start the bidding process for its multibillion dollar oil and gas projects in 2016. Up for grabs will be tens of oil E&P projects in the Persian Gulf and a handful of more risky discovery projects, such as the untapped Sardar-e-Jangal oil and gas field in the Caspian Sea.