EghtesadOnline: Iran expects to sign its first oil deal under the new Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) model within a month, a senior oil official said on Thursday.
"We expect that very soon, hopefully within a month we will have the first one signed," deputy oil minister Rokneddin Javadi told a conference in Paris, Reuters reported.
In January, Iran said 29 companies from more than a dozen countries were allowed to bid for oil and gas projects under the IPC, which Tehran hopes will boost production after years of sanctions.
But the IPC model has been delayed several times due to domestic opposition from rivals of President Hassan Rouhani, according to Financial Tribune.
France’s Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy’s Eni, Danish conglomerate Maersk, Austria’s OMV and Schlumberger as well as East Asian companies like China's CNPC and Sinopec, are among the big names to compete for Iran's oil and gas projects.
The IPC model ends a buyback system dating back more than 20 years under which Iran did not allow foreign firms to book reserves or take equity stakes in Iranian companies.
A second list of foreign contractors for IPC projects is expected to be published soon. The list will likely include Russian majors such as Zarubezhneft and Tatneft, among others who were left out from the first list.