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Tehran Resolute About $10b in Oil, Gas Deals by March

Tehran is planning to use the IPC model to develop large-scale upstream projects in cooperation with multinationals while smaller projects are said to be awarded to domestic contractors
New investments are expected to propel the petrochemical ventures to get off the ground faster than the new oil and gas ventures.New investments are expected to propel the petrochemical ventures to get off the ground faster than the new oil and gas ventures.

A top oil official seems confident that Tehran will sign billions of dollars in new oil and gas contracts within the next few months as the country gradually opens up its key energy sector to foreign investments.

"We will sign $10 billion worth of oil and gas deals by the end of the year (March 2017)," Amirhossein Zamaninia, deputy oil minister for international affairs, said without referring to details, Shana reported.

Oil Ministry officials have said the giant South Azadegan Oilfield near the border with Iraq would be the first of dozens of projects to be put out to tender for foreign companies.

Zamaninia says the new investments will "likely propel the petrochemical ventures to get off the ground faster than the new oil and gas ventures."

Iran has made known that it wants to move away from selling crude oil and natural gas by using its massive hydrocarbon reserves to produce  petrochemicals that yield higher value added.

This month the Oil Ministry awarded the first oil contract under a new contractual framework to Persia Oil and Gas Industry Development Co., a subsidiary of Iranian holding Setad Ejraiye Farmane Emam.

Based on the contract—the first under the terms of the Iran Petroleum Contract—POGIDC will develop three small and medium-size oilfields in the southern oil-rich province of Khuzestan.

Tehran has appeared to reassure foreign companies that they will get their fair share of Iran's oil and gas market.

Tehran is planning to use the IPC model to develop large-scale upstream projects in cooperation with multinationals while smaller projects are said to be awarded to domestic contractors.

Iran unveiled some of the outlines of IPC last year which was initially billed as a replacement for the unattractive and 20-year-old buyback model. But officials say that IPC will coexist with buyback as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts which are to be used to develop smaller oil and gas projects.

------- Petropars Ready for Offshore Contracts  

Roham Ghasemi, the chief executive officer of Petroiran which is one of the 11 Iranian firms approved for participating in new oil and gas projects, says his company is ready to team up with internationals in offshore oil projects.

"We have identified and reached preliminary agreement with our possible foreign partners in offshore IPC projects," the official said, Shana reported on Friday.

"We are currently focused on offshore projects," he noted, saying that his company in trying to raise funds for undertaking a megaproject which he did not name.

According to the terms of IPC, foreign companies should have an Iranian partner in exploration and production projects and transfer knowhow as Iran aims to establish large E&P companies with technical and operational clout.

Petropars has been in talks with Royal Dutch Shell and an unnamed Italian-German firm on conducting feasibility study on Iranian oil and gas reservoirs.

The Oil Ministry issued a list of eight companies eligible for working with foreign firms in new oil and gas contracts. The shortlist, which included Petropars, has been extended to 11 corporations.

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