Iran Lays Limits on Domestic Ownership of Post-Sanction Ventures

Iran Lays Limits on Domestic Ownership of Post-Sanction Ventures

Seyed Mehdi Hosseini, chairman of the Iranian Oil Ministry’s Oil Contract Restructuring Committee, told the Financial Times that domestic companies should be entitled to a minimum 20% share of any joint venture project with international energy majors in a post-sanctions era.

He would not dictate an exact figure to foreign oil companies seeking to operate in Iran, but insisted that companies from the Islamic Republic would need a substantial stake, adding that “Naturally you would think of 20-25 or 30% cent as a minimum percentage”.

“We don’t want to just give some small share [around 5%] to an Iranian company to try and make some money. We have a long-term view”, he explained.

Mehdi Hosseini is the chief architect of Iran’s long awaited new oil contract model.

He also went on to say that such partnerships would help improve the management and technological expertise of domestic operators, such as engineering companies and services contractors.

“We want to enhance our local capacity so that we can grow to be capable to operate in an international market,” he clarified.

At the same time Sahand Sehatpour, an oil engineer in Tehran, said that “Domestic companies must accept what these foreign companies offer”.

“We don’t have enough money for projects or technology”, he added.

According to Bloomberg Iran is preparing to start soliciting bids from international companies for rights to develop oil fields by the end of March.

Hosseini himself presented the contract plan at an earlier conference in Tehran attended by representatives from BP Plc, Eni SpA, Wintershall AG, Sojitz Corp. of Japan and Korea Gas Corp. Iranian contracting and production companies were also present.

The formal announcement of the detailed contract will take place on November 28-29 in Tehran.

An older Bloomberg piece even revealed the country will also offer 20-year contracts on oil and natural gas projects.

“This is the major incentive”, said Roknoddin Javadi, managing director of state-run National Iranian Oil Co.


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