Tehran (AsiaNews) – Tehran is getting ready for the first oil and gas tenders since the partial removal of sanctions by the West in the next two to three months, hoping to attract the likes of BP and Gazprom, an Iranian energy official said on Monday.
Sitting on some of the world's biggest energy reserves, the Islamic Republic has already been working on deals to develop existing fields such as South Pars, South Azadegan, Yadavaran, West Karoon, Mansuri and Abe-Teymur.
Last week, France's Total became the first major to sign a post-sanctions development deal with Iran. Iran's ambassador to Paris said Total, by signing a contract with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has opened the doors to all other energy majors of the world to join projects in Iran.
Ali Ahani said the deal broke taboos of working and investing in Iran among international companies, adding the deal shed the fears of many European and non-European companies about investing in Iran.
Potential investors include Russia’s Lukoil, Denmark’s Maersk, Austria’s OMV, Italy’s Edison and Petronas, Malaysia’s state-owned company.
Most of the exploration blocks are in the Zagros, Koppet Dagh, and Middle Eastern Gulf regions and would require minimum exploration expenditures of between US$ 16 million and US$ 90 million.
The oil and natural gas sector will play a decisive in rebooting Iran’s economy in the post-sanction period, with growth exceeding 8 per cent.
Faster GDP growth comes from greater oil sales, following the historic deal on Iran’s nuclear programme, which led to the partial easing of Western economic sanctions.
The oil industry is also one of the sectors now open to women, especially thanks to recent government orders that removed barriers that denied women top career opportunities.
Some 17,000 women are employed in Iran’s oil industry, 7,000 full time and 10,000 on contract. That is 8 per cent of the workforce, 7 per cent if management jobs are counted. (DS)