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EghtesadOnline: Tehran will extend the list of international companies that will be eligible for bidding in its coming oil and gas tenders, a deputy at the National Iranian Oil Company said.

"The Oil Ministry is preparing a second list of companies for participation in the oil tenders. The names will be made available next week," Karim Zobeydi was quoted as saying by ISNA on Friday.

Four Russian companies and a Japanese firm are expected to make the shortlist, the official noted without providing details.

In January, the ministry said 29 foreign companies had qualified for bidding in the long-awaited energy projects. The list includes household names such as Total, Eni, world's largest oilfield services company Schlumberger, Royal Dutch Shell, Maersk, Gazprom and Lukoil, according to Financial Tribune.

Despite the lifting of international economic sanctions over a year ago, there is uncertainty over Iran's oil and gas tenders and the prospects of foreign investments.

Ali Kardor, chief executive officer of NIOC, said earlier the first oil tender was postponed from February to March. Now in April, there is still no concrete update on the possible date of the first tender for multinationals.

The oil-rich South Azadegan field near the Iran-Iraq border is expected to be the first project to be tendered.

Total has submitted a development proposal for the project, with Japan's Inpex and China National Petroleum Corporation also expected to present proposals. Officials say the field can also be developed by a consortium rather than a single contractor.

Iran oil Iran oil tenders Iran gas tenders Karim Zobeydi