Iran Lists Domestic Contractors for Oil, Gas Projects

Iran Lists Domestic Contractors for Oil, Gas ProjectsIran Lists Domestic Contractors for Oil, Gas Projects

Iran has approved eight domestic companies and conglomerates for partnership with foreign contractors in its new oil and gas projects that are expected to be tendered this summer.

Mohammad Reza Moqaddam, deputy oil minister for research and technology, made the announcement in a statement on Sunday, Shana reported.

The list includes Petropars, Oil Industries Engineering and Construction (OIEC), Dana Energy Company, Petroiran, MAPNA Group, Khatam-al Anbia, the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO Group) and the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO).

Moqaddam said the selected companies have been vetted from among 37 applicants. It is not yet clear if the list will be extended to include more domestic contractors.

In an interview with the Financial Times on June 23, Gholamreza Manouchehri, the deputy head of National Iranian Oil Company, confirmed the approval of Petroiran, Petropars and MAPNA, but said a complete list was still being finalized.

Iran lined up dozens of oil and gas development projects in a major conference in Tehran in November. Last month, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said 10 to 15 projects will be put out to tender for international firms this summer.

The projects will be offered under a new contractual framework, dubbed Iran Petroleum Contracts, that includes more attractive terms for investment and cooperation.

The new contracts also require foreign contractors to choose an Iranian partner in every project and the government is finalizing the list of domestic corporations qualified to partner with potential foreign contractors such as Total, Eni and BP.

Moqaddam added that Iranian companies are only permitted to carry out exploration and production activities, as the current regulations bar them from producing equipment under engineering, procurement and construction contracts.

The bidding process can open as early as mid-July for existing fields, while exploration projects will be offered in future.

The tenders are aimed at bringing back major international companies to help develop Iran's hydrocarbon reserves after years of sanctions that undermined investment in the key oil and gas sector.

------- Domestic Profile

The shortlist indicates that the Islamic Republic has opted to embrace foreign cooperation in its key oil and gas sector through some of its largest and most well-established corporations.

Petropars is an oil and gas exploration and production company and a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company.

Petroiran is another affiliate of the NIOC that carries out onshore and offshore projects. It is mainly concentrated on developing South Pars, Iran's shared gas field with Qatar in the Persian Gulf.

MAPNA is an Iranian power and infrastructure group. It signed an agreement with Siemens in March that will see the German company provide two gas turbines to a power plant in the southern port of Bandar Abbas.

OIEC, which is a partly state-owned oil contractor, operates in a wide range of oil, gas and petrochemical projects.

Dana group is a privately-owned upstream services holding that comprises 10 affiliates. IDRO is one of the largest conglomerates in Iran and Asia with 117 domestic and international affiliated companies

But more noteworthy on the list are Khatam-al Anbiya and EIKO, two of the largest Iranian economic conglomerates.

Khatam-al Anbiya is an Iranian engineering firm controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The firm is the IRGC's major engineering arm and one of Iran's largest contractors in industrial and development projects.

EIKO is a multi-sector business organization with an estimated value of $95 billion in 2013. It is engaged in a plethora of economic activities, ranging from investment in Iran's public telecommunications company and a mobile operator to extensive banking and financial operations.