Iran expects foreign oil companies to sign deals valued at $25b over the next one to two years under the terms of a new contract model, Bloomberg reported. According to World Oil, NIOC has identified 34 foreign companies as suitable bidders and specified 12 to 13 fields as a priority for the first round of investment. Meanwhile, the government has already approved eight Iranian exploration and production firms as eligible partners to foreign oil companies, with a possibility to increase this number in the future, the National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) VP of Finance & Investment, Ali Kardor, said.

NIOC plans to tender contracts over a period of six months to a year to develop several oil and gas fields. Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said that Iran will focus on jointly owned oil and gas fields, as well as producing assets where recovery rates could be improved.

Under the recently approved new contract model, international oil companies must form a joint venture with an Iranian partner. Iran hopes foreign companies will invest as much as $50b a year in the country’s oil industry. Major European oil companies such as Italy’s Eni SpA and France’s Total SA have expressed an interest in developing Iran’s oil and gas fields.