IPC Seminar Postponed Again

IPC Seminar Postponed AgainIPC Seminar Postponed Again

The London seminar, in which Iran's new petroleum contract model was to be unveiled, is postponed from February to September, the head of the Oil Contracts Revision Committee announced Wednesday.

Since March 2014, the CWC Group was expected to hold an international seminar on Iran's oil and gas industry and its potentials for a post-sanctions era. The main topic of the scheduled conference is the new Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) and the potential projects for foreign investors that have expressed their interest in Iran's energy projects.

Up to 50 projects valued at $40 billion are to be offered at the London seminar. Some of these pertain to the development of the remaining phases of South Pars gas field, as well as other offshore and onshore gas fields. There are also projects for exploration and development of new fields.

The seminar was initially planned to be held in April 2014, and being rescheduled to February 2015, has, one more time, been delayed to September on CWC's discretion, Mehdi Hosseini was quoted by ISNA as saying.

"Political developments have not happened recently as we expected," Hosseini said, adding: "The CWC decided to reschedule the event so that it matches up with the current political agenda."

It was the CWC Group's intention to hold the seminar in the "most appropriate circumstances," so that the restrictions caused by sanctions against Iran would not impede the active presence of international oil companies (IOCs), banks, and other financial institutions interested in oil and gas development projects, Hosseini said.

The current buyback framework is no longer attractive for foreign companies, and the government has established a new model whereby the drawbacks of previous buyback agreements have been revised, creating a new investment model as part of the drive to encourage foreign businesses, particularly from Europe, to invest in Iranian projects.

"Some articles in the buyback contracts were one-sided and benefited only Iran, and therefore, did not meet the expectations of foreign companies," Hosseini said earlier.

The IPC aims to attract foreign capital, services, know-how and technology, integrate the exploration, development, and production phases, and reduce investment risks by offering more flexibility in investment costs.

After the November talks in Vienna failed to result in a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of major world powers, Hosseini said that the conference will not be delayed. "The extension of the talks is not going to affect the London seminar and the unveiling of the IPC; the conference will go as planned on February 23-25, 2015, in the Marriott Hotel in London," he said on Nov 25.

The US and its allies imposed tough sanctions on Iran during the past five years to curb the country's nuclear program, which Tehran insists has solely civilian purposes. Iran and the P5+1 group ( five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany) have been holding marathon talks over the past year to thrash out a mutually acceptable comprehensive deal.