Two Day Strategic Iran Oil & Gas Post Sanctions Summit 2016


This was the official website for the 2016 two day strategic Iran Oil & Gas Post Sanctions Summit.
Content is from the site's 2015 -2016 archived pages, as well as from other outside sources. 


Prior to this event, there was some controversy created by anti-Iranian political actors attempting to discredit anything related to Iran. A Google search for "Iran Oil & Gas Summit" displayed results suggesting there were terrorist sponsors to the event. This may have been the trigger for some of the delays experienced by those whose visa applications were delayed or even denied. While mainly a problem in the US, the issue in Google's search results very likely influenced many would-be participants to question their participation. Google would not respond to requests to intervene. The only way the organizers could remove harmful Google results was to hire at a very steep fee, search professionals known as reputation management services to remove those results. The organizers refused to do this and instead attempted to counter the damaging search results with a PR campaign that appears to have worked. We are posting this notice to assure everyone that this event is a legitimate effort to educate and advance the interests of the community at large.


Iran again postpones London Energy Summit

ByDaniel J. Graeber |

Event organizers tell UPI delegates from Iran face challenges getting visas.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani working to retool economy in the post-sanctions era. Visa issues cause delays, meanwhile, in long-awaited Iranian energy conference in London. Photo by Ali Mohammadi/UPI | License Photo

LONDON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Organizers of an Iranian petroleum conference scheduled in London said the event was postponed because Iranian delegates were having visa issues.

CWC Group Ltd. said the National Iranian Oil Co. requested the event, which was scheduled for later this month, be postponed. Simon Hoare, the manager of the event for CWC, said in response to email questions there were some obstacles for Iranian delegates slated to attend the event in London.

"The NIOC has requested that we postpone the event due to challenges in gaining visas for the Iranian delegates who wished to attend," he said. "We are working with them to confirm the new dates as soon as possible."

Hoare confirmed this was the third time the London conference was postponed. Up until now, delays were in response to the political situation in Iran and uncertainty surrounding sanctions imposed on Iran in response to its controversial nuclear program.

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Sanctions pressures eased in January when Iran was confirmed to have met the terms of a multilateral nuclear agreement reached in July. Existing U.S. sanctions make working in Iran complicated given enduring pressure on financial maneuvers with Tehran.

Iranian oil production in January averaged 2.9 million barrels per day, a 1.3 percent increase from December and the highest level reported by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries since at least 2014.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently wrapped up a tour of European nations, returning with commitments from energy companies like Total and Italy's Eni. Iran said it could put more barrels of oil on the market as sanctions pressures ease.

According to OPEC, oil prices are near 12-year lows in part because an already-oversupplied market is anticipating extra crude from Iran. A supply-side oil economy is hurting revenue streams for exporting nations, though Iranian officials have moved to diversify away from oil.

As part of a diversification scheme, Iran plans to offer tax breaks for exports of goods and services in an effort to expand non-oil exports. Apart from oil, Rouhani returned home with commitments from Airbus and auto company Renault.



Unleashing the Oil & Gas Potential of Post Sanctions Iran

The two day strategic Iran Oil & Gas Post Sanctions Summit will discuss topics and issues from across the oil and gas value chain, providing delegates with an in-depth insight into Iran – post sanctions. Speakers include both senior Iranian representatives and key figures from the international oil and gas community, who will share insights into the exciting opportunities and key challenges that will arise in Iran –post sanctions.

This oil and gas event is a must-attend for any organisation considering operating in Iran.

Key Topics to Be Discussed at the Summit Include:

  • A New Era of Opportunity: New Terms, New Projects and Announcements
  • Understanding the New Contractual Frameworks Governing Upstream E&P
  • Plans, Projects and Opportunities in the Upstream Oil & Gas Sector in a New Era
  • What Capabilities are Required to Bring the Iranian Oil and Gas Industry to the Next Level?

Why Attend the Iran Oil & Gas Summit?

  • Network and engage with a senior Iranian delegation and industry representatives
  • Stay ahead of your competitors by exploring opportunities offered in Iran post sanctions
  • Gain an in-depth and unrivalled insight into contract changes that will be made
  • Understand the Iran landscape post sanctions
  • Increase your company’s exposure in the industry in preparation for a sanction-free Iran


Exclusive Networking Opportunities


Product Showcase 

  • Showcase your capabilities ready for a post sanctions Iran
  • Position yourself in front of senior international and Iranian decision makers
  • Gain recognition as an industry leader

Lunches & Coffee Breaks 

  • Benefit from extensive networking opportunities
  • Network with all those interested in Iran’s energy industry
  • Discuss business opportunities in the post sanctions Iran

Gala Dinner 

Monday 22 February – The Dorchester Hotel

With an exclusive and intimate setting, the Gala Dinner is the ideal place for nurturing relationships, establishing new connections and discussing projects and opportunities detailed at the Summit.


Summit Venue & Visa Information

Venue – Park Plaza Westminster Hotel

Address: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, 200 Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7UT

The Park Plaza Hotel is situated on the vibrant South Bank in the heart of London. Within walking distance of the city’s most iconic attractions, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, the hotel offers the perfect location for meeting with colleagues in the centre of this metropolitan city.


Interview – Iran to Return to the Global Energy Stage

H.E. Mr Seyed Mehdi Hosseini 
Oil Contracts Restructuring Committee

With Iran’s imminent re-entry into the global stage, there is much to be discussed about how this will take effect and the impact it will have for the world’s oil & gas industry.

As part of the Iran Oil & Gas Post Sanctions Summit, we spoke to H.E. Mr Seyed Mehdi Hosseini, Chairman of the Iran Oil Contract Restructuring Committee about Iran’s return to the market, the investment potential this generates and the revelation of the much anticipated Iranian Petroleum Contract (IPC).

Seyed Mehdi Hosseini


Speaker's details

      • ChairmanOil Contracts Restructuring Committee
      • Senior ExpertNIOC
        • Speaking at: 1: Keynote Addresses & Official Event Opening, 3: Panel Discussion: How Does the IPC Compare with Previous & Current Regional Contractual Frameworks?, 8: Closing Session - Next Steps

        Other speakers

        •  H.E. Mr Roknodin Javadi Deputy Oil Minister & Managing DirectorNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        •  H.E. Seyed Mehdi Hosseini ChairmanOil Contracts Restructuring CommitteeSenior ExpertNIOC
        • H.E. Taghavi Nezhad Deputy Economic Minister Head of Iran's Tax OrganizationIranian Government
        •  H.E. Dr Amir Hossein Zamani Nia Deputy Oil Minister for International AffairsMinistry of Petroleum
        • Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari Director of International AffairsNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)Member of NIOC's Board of Directors
        •  H.E. Dr Ali Kardor Vice President, Finance & Investment National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        •  Mr Ali Mohammad Delparish Director, Corporate Planning & Board Member National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)AdvisorOil Contract Restructuring Committee
        • Dr Ali Akbar Mahrokhzad Director of Legal Affairs & Contracts & Board MemberNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • Ms Talin Mansourian Senior Investment ExpertNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)ConsultantPetroleum Contracts Restructuring Committee
        • Mr Seyed Hassan Mousavi Senior Legal ExpertNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)Legal AdvisorPetroleum Contracts Restructuring Committee
        • Hon. Lord Lamont Chairman British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce
        • H.E. R. Javadi Deputy Oil Minister & MDNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • H.E. Shapour Mohammadi Deputy MinisterMinistry of Finance
        • Dr Mehdi Asali Director General OPEC AffairsMinistry of Oil
        • Dr Kazempour Ardebili Advisor to Oil Minister & Executive Board MemberOPEC
        • Mr Seyed Mehdi Mirmoezi Former Deputy Oil Minister & Former Managing DirectorNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)MemberIran Oil Restructuring Committee
        • Mr Reza Aghebati Advisor Oil Contract Restructuring Committee
        • Mr Karim Zobeidi Advisor Oil Contract Restructuring Committee
        • Dr Hormoz Ghalavand Director - ExplorationNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • Dr Rahim Nematollahi Deputy Director – Exploration National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • Mr Morsal Nezhad Exploration DirectorateNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • Dr Hossein Motamedi Exploration DirectorateNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • Mr Hussain Zangeneh Acting Managing DirectorNational Iranian South Fields Oil Company (NISOC)
        • Mr Salbali Karimi Managing DirectorIran’s Central Oil Fields Company (ICOFC)
        • Mr Saeid Hafezi Managing Director Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC)
        • Mr Ali Akbar Shabanpour Managing DirectorPars Oil and Gas Company (POGC)
        • Mr Javad Rostami Director, Research & DevelopmentIranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC)
        • Mr Mohammad Meshkinfam Acting Director - Engineering & ConstructionPars Oil and Gas Company (POGC)
        • Mr Ali Osuli Managing DirectorKhazar Exploration & Production Company
        • Ms Aye Katebi Advisor Oil Contract Restructuring Committee
        • Mr Rasoul Sheykhy Nezhad AdvisorOil Contract Restructuring Committee
        • Dr Mohammad Ali Emadi AdvisorOil Contract Restructuring Committee
        • Dr Seyed Mostafa Zeynoddin Former Director - Legal AffairsNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)MemberOil Contract Restructuring Committee
        • Dr Seyed Nasrollah Ebrahimi Legal Affairs DirectorateNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • Dr Zahra Goudarzi Legal Affairs Directorate National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • Dr Firoozmand Director Legal National Iranian Oil Company
        • Mr Hossein Nejad Managing DirectorPetroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC)



        Iran Oil & Gas Post Sanctions

        Following the dropping of sanctions against Iran, the Iran Oil & Gas Post Sanctions Summit has attracted unprecedented attention with places filling up fast.

        Fully supported by NIOC and hosting a delegation of over 30 senior NIOC and Ministry of Petroleum officials, the Summit will provide delegates with a greater understanding of the IPC’s key features including local content obligations and an objective review of the framework. The first round of projects to be open to investors will also be examined and details on the bidding process and procedure will be announced.

        The IPC Workshop will provide an opportunity for detailed insights and extensive Q&A on 3 key aspects of the IPC, Legal, Economic and Technical, delivered by the Oil Contracts Restructuring Committee.

        Don’t miss this opportunity to network with a senior Iranian delegation, meet prospective partners and showcase your expertise at this highly anticipated, ground breaking Summit. 


        Confirmed Speakers from NIOC & the Ministry of Petroleum Include:  

        • H.E. Mr Roknodin JavadiDeputy Oil Minister & Managing DirectorNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • H.E. Seyed Mehdi HosseiniChairmanOil Contracts Restructuring CommitteeSenior ExpertNIOC
        • H.E. Taghavi NezhadDeputy Economic Minister Head of Iran's Tax OrganizationIranian Government
        • H.E. Dr Amir Hossein Zamani NiaDeputy Oil Minister for International AffairsMinistry of Petroleum
        • Seyed Mohsen GhamsariDirector of International AffairsNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)Member of NIOC's Board of Directors
        • H.E. Dr Ali KardorVice President, Finance & InvestmentNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)
        • Mr Ali Mohammad DelparishDirector, Corporate Planning & Board MemberNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)AdvisorOil Contract Restructuring Committee
        • Ms Talin MansourianSenior Investment ExpertNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)ConsultantPetroleum Contracts Restructuring Committee
        • Mr Seyed Hassan MousaviSenior Legal ExpertNational Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)Legal Advisor Petroleum Contracts Restructuring Committee
        • All members of the special committee for revision of contracts will attend to present the new contract framework - Click here to view all speakers


        Why the Summit is Unique

        • Get direct access to a senior delegation from the Ministry of Petroleum and NIOC, available for networking throughout the Summit
        • Find out more about the fiscal, economic and legal frameworks within the new Iranian Petroleum Contract
        • 2 Day Conference: providing unique insights – have your questions answered by the VIPs of Iran’s oil and gas industry
        • Project announcements: more comprehensive insights on the 40+ projects will be explored during the summit
        • Leaders’ Panel: international industry leaders will examine Iran’s position in the global oil and gas industry
        • Benefit from an open discussion platform – greater level of dialogue ensuring greater detail on need-to-know topics
        • Gala Dinner: network with industry leaders and bringing you closer to your future business partners in the post sanctions era
        • Product Showcase: use your stand to showcase your capabilities and expertise ready for the post sanctions era



        Iran in The News

        6 December 2015 

        16 facts about Iran Petroleum Contract, details of offered fields

        Trend News Agency explores 16 facts about the Iran Petroleum Contract as revealed in the Tehran Summit. More details of which will be revealed in the London Summit hosted by CWC.


        Photo: 16 facts about Iran Petroleum Contract, details of offered fields / Business

        CREDIT: Trend News Agency

        By Dalga Khatinoglu

        During last month Tehran hosted 137 companies from 45 countries for a two-day conference, during which legal generalities of Iran’s new model of oil and gas contract (Iran Petroleum Contract, or IPC) were introduced. More details about the contracts will be unveiled at a conference likely to be held in London in February 2016.

        The legal generalities of the IPC show that it covers a package for all exploration, development, and production stages in many of the fields. Moreover, the parties will hold a stake in the output for more than two decades.

        The Iranian Oil Ministry will announce details about the terms and conditions of each oil and gas field within related tenders for foreign companies.

        Here are 16 facts about 21 gas and 29 oil fields, proposed for foreigners to take part in them, based on the IPC:

        1 - Iran has offered 50 hydrocarbon fields, including 21 gas fields, of which 6 are offshore gas fields.

        2- Eight of total 29 oil fields are offshore ones.

        3 - Among offshore gas fields, none of them are developed, while only two onshore fields have been developed relatively and the remained 13 fields are totally undeveloped.

        4-Among 29 oil fields, 3 offshore and 9 onshore fields are undeveloped, the remaining fields are active.

        5 - The total reserves of offered gas fields are 226 trillion cubic standard feet (tcsf), sharing about 19.1% of the country's total gas reserves.

        6- The total oil reserves of offered fields is 210 billion stock tank barrels, of which 77 billion stock tank oil-initially-in-place (STOIIP) are offshore field reserves.

        7 - Although the number of onshore gas fields are 2.5 times more than offshore ones, but they only holds 66 tcsf reserves, 2.4 times less than offshore fields.

        8- Coming to oil reserves, onshore fields hold about 34 percent of total oil reserves offered to foreigners within the framework of IPC.

        9 - Developing gas fields would add more than 111,000 barrels per day of gas condensate to Iran's oil production level.

        10- It's estimated that developing oil fields will add 200 mcm/d (7 bcf/d) of associated gas to the country's gas production.

        11- Developing gas reserves to add about 13.4 billion cubic feet per day (Or about 380 mcm/d) to the country's gas production.

        12- It is not clear how much crude oil would be added to the country's output. The recovery rate of the fields is also uncertain.

        13- It seems Iran has focused on Caspian Sea seriously for the first time, introducing a field (Sardar-e Jangal) and three blocks to be explored and developed.

        14- The country's priority is developing cross-border or joint fields with neighbors.

        15- The foreign contractor has to choose an Iranian partner to establish a join venture to develop a project.

        16- Petroleum costs and the fee shall be paid to contractor out of the maximum 50 percent of the revenues generated from the field.

        Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector and head of Trend Agency's Iran news service



        24 November 2015

        Iran gears up for big return to world oil markets

        CNNMoney (West Quroon, Iran)
        First published November 24, 2015: 4:53 PM ET

        CNN speaks to Oil Ministry – “We need more than a few major companies to partner with to develop these fields,” said  H.E. Dr. Amir Hossein Zamaninia, Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs, [and speaker at the Iran O&G Post Sanctions Summit], “What we need is capital, technology and to some degree project management.”

        In a remote corner of Iran, engineers are working round the clock to return the country to the top ranks of global oil producers.

        The region of Southwest Iran boasts more proven reserves of oil than Africa's largest producer, Nigeria, and its 60 billion barrels are central to Iran's ambitions.

        Drilling is nearly complete in the biggest of the region's five fields, called South Azadegan. But it's been an uphill struggle, thanks to years of Western sanctions.

        CNN was the first foreign TV crew allowed into Iran's largest oil find in 30 years, in the marshlands of what was a battleground in the 1980s war with Iraq.

        Iran's oil industry has had to get creative to survive years of isolation -- the equipment is old, rusty and in some cases improvised. On one platform, the National Iranian Oil Company is using a Chinese built rig but with American technology at the core purchased before sanctions took hold.

        Mahmood Marashi, a project manager educated in America, cannot wait for the day Western-led sanctions are removed, and Iran can re-enter the global market.

        "We hope that after the sanctions are lifted we can move faster," Marashi told CNN. "Of course the quality is very important," he said, in reference to the tools he is now forced to use.

        Not far away, a new oil handling facility is going up, but with pile drivers that are clearly from a different era. Black smoke billows from the old machinery.

        Crews are working flat out, hoping to quadruple production in the West Quroon region to a hefty 700,000 barrels a day in 2020, from just 160,000 today. Project managers are required to provide progress reports every two weeks to oil ministry officials, eager to ensure strict deadlines are met.

        West Quroon makes up more than a third of Iran's proven reserves of 157 billion barrels, the fourth largest in the world. . Abdulreza Hosseinnejad, managing director of the National Iran Oil Company, describes the region's potential as "massive."

        "We have to work hard in order for it come to reality," he admitted. "We are used to hard conditions -- I hope that after sanctions that life will be much easier."

        Oil minister Bijan Zanganeh will present his plan for Iran's return to world markets to fellow OPEC members in Vienna on December 4.

        But he gave CNN a preview of his game plan during an interview in Tehran.

        As soon as sanctions are lifted, Iran will ramp up production by half a million barrels a day immediately, adding another half million by the start of Iran's fiscal year in March. A further half million barrels will follow by the end of 2016.

        This would take daily output back up to 4.3 million barrels, matching a pre-sanctions high hit in 2008 and challenging Iraq as OPEC's second biggest producer. Iran would rank in the top five producers in the world, but well behind the big 3: Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States which each continue to pump out between 9 and 10 and a half million barrels daily.

        "We are one of the oldest producers in the world, the oldest producer in the Middle East. Can we lose our share in the market? It is not fair," Zanganeh said, alluding to the pressure domestically to regain what it gave up during the sanctions regime since 2007.

        His deputy for international affairs, Amir Zamaninia, points to a map in his office with large green circles for oil fields and even larger red ones indicating gas finds.

        "All of these need to be developed. We need more than a few major companies to partner with to develop these fields," said Zamaninia, "What we need is capital, technology and to some degree project management."

        The ability to attract international oil companies will depend on how generous Iran is prepared to be when it unveils 50 oil, gas and petrochemical projects worth $185 billion later this week and again on a road show to London in February. Contracts running for as long as 25 years, with favorable production sharing rights, may be on offer, Iranian sources said, with the first deals likely signed by the close of the first half of 2016.

        There's been no shortage of interest, with more than a dozen country delegations from Europe and Asia -- often including energy CEOs in tow -- beating a path to Tehran since the interim agreement was signed July 14.

        Iran's reemergence as a world oil power will clearly tip the balance within OPEC, and its ambitious plans may force Saudi Arabia to make way for its arch rival. The Kingdom seized Iran's market share during the height of the sanctions in the past three years.

        "If the Saudis decide to change tack, all they have to do is to take one to one and a half million barrels a day from the market and the balance will come back, said Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of the consultancy FACTS Global Energy.

        He believes Iran will try to avoid flooding the market, while proving to the world that it can build up capacity to nearly six million barrels a day by 2020, but whether OPEC players will be willing to adjust their output to accommodate Iran remains a big unknown.



        21 October 2015

        Interview – Iran to return to the global energy stage

        CWC Group interviews H.E. Mr Seyed Mehdi Hosseini, Chairman of Iran’s Oil Contract Restructuring Committee and distinguished speaker for the upcoming event Iran Oil & Gas Post Sanctions taking place 22-24 February in London. 


        14 July 2015

        The historic nuclear deal with Iran: How it works

        By Ishaan Tharoor July 14, 2015

        After more than two weeks of wrangling and missed deadlines in Vienna, Iran and its international interlocutors have finally clinched a historic accord over Tehran's nuclear program. The diplomacy with Iran, an endeavor that faced vociferous opposition throughout, was aimed at curbing the Islamic republic's ability to produce a nuclear weapon. A tentative framework was inked in April between Iran and its negotiating partners, which include the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany.

        [Why it was so difficult to reach a deal.]

        The deal's proponents argue that the talks have yielded the best guarantee possible that Iran won't be able to move toward nuclear weapons, while also, for the time being, reducing the risk of yet another military escalation in the Middle East.

        "This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it," President Obama said Tuesday.

        Here's a guide to how it works.

        Extending the breakout time

        The main benchmark by which analysts gauge Iran's ability to produce an atomic bomb is the "breakout" time — the time needed for Iran to produce enough weapons-grade enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb. It is currently estimated at a couple of months; under the terms of the deal, that time frame has been extended to at least one year.

        The implication here is key: One year gives world powers enough time to mobilize action to interrupt Iran's pathway to a bomb. The extended breakout time also presents, in its own right, a strategic obstacle to Iran's leadership, raising the stakes if it ever considered rushing toward building a nuclear arsenal. To be sure, Tehran has always insisted that it has no interest in obtaining a nuclear weapon, but its covert activities in the past raised the world's suspicions and led to tough international trade, banking and financial sanctions.

        Iran's nuclear facilities

        The deal focuses on limiting Iran's ability to produce and maintain the fissile material needed to build nuclear weapons. Along the lines of the April framework agreement, Iran will cut its number of centrifuges — the devices used to enrich uranium gas — from 19,000 to 6,000. Its stockpile of enriched uranium will be reduced from about 10,000 kilograms to 300.

        The heavy-water reactor at Arak will be reengineered so that it does not yield material that can be turned into weapons-grade plutonium, and all of its spent fuel is to be shipped out of Iran for the life of the reactor. Iran has committed to not building a similar reactor for the next 15 years.

        Uranium enrichment at the underground facility in Fordow — a concern because some outside observers believe it would be difficult to hit with an airstrike — will be strictly curbed. Iran will be prevented from bringing fissile material into the site over the next 15 years; Fordow will lose more than half of its 2,800 centrifuges and be converted into a nuclear physics research center.

        Inspections and enforcement

        In all these instances, the deal outlines tight guidelines for monitoring and verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog. IAEA inspectors will be granted regular access to all these major nuclear sites and will monitor Iran's nuclear infrastructure, from its uranium mills to centrifuge storage facilities, for up to 25 years.

        The Israeli newspaper Haaretz unpacks how access will be guaranteed at Iran's most sensitive sites:

        According to the agreement, UN inspectors will be able to enter any suspect facility in Iran within a maximum period of 24 days. Iran will be able to present reservations to the IAEA's requests to visit suspicious facilities. In such cases, a special arbitration committee will be established to make a decision. The committee will include representatives of the six world powers, Iran and the European Union. Iran will be in the minority, with only Russia and China holding positions close to Tehran's.


        The deal, in the next week to 10 days, will be sent to the U.N. Security Council — Iran's negotiating partners included all five permanent members of the Security Council, plus Germany. There, it will be codified by a new resolution once the IAEA certifies that Iran has stuck to its commitments regarding its enrichment capabilities.

        This will lead to the Security Council dropping its wide-reaching sanctions on the Iranian regime, which have crippled the country's economy. If Iran violates any terms of the deal, sanctions could be snapped back within 65 days.

        Separately, a U.N. embargo on conventional weapons sales will be lifted within five years, while a ban on missile sales to Iran will be lifted within eight years. In the last few heated days of talks, this particular element of the dispute appeared to be the most intractable, with Russia pushing aggressively for an end to the arms embargo, but it appears both sides have met halfway.

        Oil prices have already dropped at the prospect of Iran's huge petroleum industry returning to the fold.

        ... and how it doesn't work

        Critics of the deal, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Republican hawks in Washington, warn that, contrary to the Obama administration's talking points, it gives Iran a ticket to becoming a nuclear superpower. These claims are somewhat undermined by the many tough provisions within the deal.

        For opponents, though, the issue lies less in the technical details and mechanisms negotiated in Vienna and more in Iran's track record in the region. Since 1979, the Islamic republic has been an avowed enemy of the United States and its interests, and has supported proxy militias across the Middle East, including some groups deemed terrorist organizations.

        The Obama administration has been clear that the goal of the negotiations was to place ironclad controls on Iran's nuclear program, not fundamentally change the Iranian regime's outlook or policy.

        "Tough talk from Washington does not solve problems," Obama said. "Hard-nosed diplomacy, leadership that has united the world's major powers offers a more effective way to verify that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon."



        4 December 2013

        Iran names 7 Western oil companies it wants to return

        Photo: Iran names 7 Western oil companies it wants to return / Iran

        Iran on Wednesday named seven Western oil companies it wants back in its vast oil and gas fields if international sanctions are lifted and said it would outline investment terms in April next year, Reuters reported.

        Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh named the seven in order: Total of France, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy's ENI, Norway's Statoil, Britain's BP and U.S. companies Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips .

        Iran has the world's fourth-largest proved national reserves of oil - most of it cheap to produce - and is home to the biggest proved reserves of natural gas, some 18 percent of the global total.

        With nationalisation in the Islamic revolution of 1979, the oil companies were thrown out and Iran's share of world oil production fell to below 40 percent by 1997 from 55 percent in the 1970s. They drifted back in the 1990s, and Zanganeh oversaw that return as minister in a reformist government of 1997-2005.

        Total moved back into onshore fields in 1997 and Shell in 1999, both while Zanganeh was minister, and both in defiance of U.S. sanctions. President Bill Clinton had blocked a Conoco project in 1995.

        But Iran's production stagnated through the 2000s amid growing international tensions over its nuclear programme. The more effective sanctions instituted in 2012 have choked out foreign investment and sent output down to 2.65 million barrels a day in November from an average of 4.3 million in 2011.

        Iran reached an interim deal last month with six western powers to limit its nuclear programme, under which sanctions on oil investment and trade with Iran may be eased next year - although for now the agreement does not explicitly include a relaxation of the controls on Iranian oil sales.


        Speaking to reporters at an OPEC meeting, Zanganeh said he was already talking with some companies, although so far not those from the United States.

        "We had no limitations for U.S. companies. Twenty years ago there were limitations against them from their own administration. For doing projects in Iran, we have no limitations," Zanganeh said.

        He is due to meet senior executives from Western oil companies including Eni and Shell on Thursday, an Iranian oil official said.

        Zanganeh made no mention of Russian, Chinese or Japanese companies or those of other nationalities. Asked whether he would like to see Asian, Indian or Chinese companies coming to Iran as well, he said: "Yes, but now we are discussing with European (firms)".

        He said contract terms would be better than those in post-war Iraq, which limited oil companies to operating fees rather than the share of production deals they prefer.

        "I cannot say more about the detail," Zanganeh said.

        Mehdi Hosseini, an Iranian official in charge of revising national investment terms, told Reuters he hoped to be able to introduce the new contract model at a London conference in the second week of April.

        "The Iranians aren't under any illusions that they can draw anyone in before the sanctions are lifted," said a Western oil executive from a company previously involved in Iran. "And most international oil companies will be careful not to go one step too far before a final agreement is reached between Iran and the West."

        A Western oil source from another company that had invested in Iran said, "A removal of sanctions that would allow for tangible progress for international oil companies is still at the minimum 18-24 months away."


        The love-hate, on-off relationship between Iran and foreigners intent on exploiting its oil dates back long before the revolution of 1979, and BP, perhaps the most badly scarred by its past experiences there, was being cautious about the prospects for a new era of co-operation on Wednesday.

        "Iran has not had access to a lot of recent technological developments," said a spokesman. "It clearly has a lot of potential. However as this is likely to be a very complicated political process we need to take our time and watch the situation carefully."

        Over a hundred years ago, BP was called the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and later the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company - with both names reflecting the importance of Iranian oil to what was then a state-owned British group. When nationalisation came, BP lost 40 percent of its production.

        Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of Total, which has been closer to the post-1979 regime than most, refused to take questions about Iran at a conference in Paris on Wednesday.

        Eni has never interrupted relations with Iran, having won some exemptions from the 2012 sanctions so that the country's debt to it of around $1 billion could be repayed in oil production. Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni recently said the group must be ready to re-enter when the situation unlocks.

        Shell, Exxon and Conoco all declined to comment on Wednesday.



        26 November 2013

        Iran opens contacts with oil groups

        The Financial Times reported “Iran’s oil ministry has opened contacts with western majors as the government of Hassan Rouhani tries to capitalise on progress in nuclear talks and encourage companies to prepare for an eventual lifting of sanctions


        Bijan Namdar Zanganeh

        Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh

        Iran’s oil ministry has opened contacts with western majors as the government of Hassan Rouhani tries to capitalise on progress in nuclear talks and encourage companies to prepare for an eventual lifting of sanctions.

        Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the veteran oil minister who has returned to government after an eight-year absence, told the Financial Times he had held meetings with European companies and “indirectly” with US firms with a view to inviting them back to Iran.

        In his first interview with the foreign media, the minister who persuaded the likes of Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Statoil to invest in the oil and gas sector in the 1990s despite US sanctions, said these companies were now among those he was seeking to attract back to Iran.

        All have withdrawn from Iran in recent years, frustrated with unattractive oil contract terms and under pressure from a raft of new financial and oil sanctions, which have slashed Iran’s production. Oil exports have declined, from more than 2m barrels per day at the beginning of 2012 to an average of 1.1m b/d in the first nine months of this year, according to the International Energy Agency.

        Some oil majors appear to be open to an Iranian approach. When asked last month if Total would return to Iran if sanctions were lifted, Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of the French energy group, replied: “Of course.”

        Indeed, last month its head of exploration and production for the Middle East, Arnaud Breuillac, travelled to Tehran to meet the head of Iran’s national company, Rokneddin Javadi, reportedly telling him that Total would resume oil and gas operations in Iran as soon as sanctions were lifted.

        Others have also talked up Iran’s long-term prospects. Peter Voser, Shell’s outgoing chief executive, told an industry conference last month that Iran had “vast resources” of oil and gas and “in the longer term, [its] hydrocarbons will have to be developed to meet [rising world] demand”.

        But it is clear Iran is way down most oil companies’ list of priorities. “With the shale revolution, there are a lot more opportunities out there for us,” said a senior executive at one European oil major. “Iran will have to compete for investment with lots of other places that offer much more attractive terms.”

        The Iranian government is reviewing the terms of oil contracts and intends to replace the unpopular agreements known as buybacks with a form of service contract. Production-sharing agreements favoured by companies are not on the table, said Mr Zanganeh, but Iran was planning to offer better terms than its neighbours, including Iraq.

        Mr Zanganeh was clear that no energy deal could be signed before Iran and world powers agreed on a comprehensive settlement to the nuclear programme, which would lead to a lifting of sanctions. But he said negotiations would, in any case, take months to complete.

        While he did not expect an immediate impact on Iran’s exports from Sunday’s interim nuclear deal, which kept most sanctions in place, he said the accord signalled to international markets that the long-running nuclear dispute had a good chance of being resolved. “It sends a positive signal to start negotiations.”

        The deal reached in Geneva will also lift what the minister called “psychological sanctions”. Many companies not specifically prohibited from dealing with Iran have cut all contact, fearing damage to their reputation.

        Iran has the fourth-largest oil reserves and the largest gas reserves in the world but it has been one of the few countries off-limits to foreign companies. Mr Zanganeh said the sector needed at least $50bn in foreign investment.