LONDON Jan 21 Iran's first chance to unveil new
oil and gas investment opportunities to Western oil companies -
a widely anticipated London conference - has been delayed until
November from early April, industry sources said on Tuesday.
Tehran wants Western oil companies to revive its giant
ageing oilfields and develop new oil and gas fields once
sanctions are lifted and is improving its oil investment
contract in order to lure them in.
The major OPEC producer has started implementing a nuclear
deal with world powers, a step towards a broad settlement which
could lead to the end of sanctions.
Tehran's leading contract negotiator Mehdi Hosseini told
Reuters in December that the London conference would offer
international oil companies the first opportunity to see
Tehran's more attractive commercial terms.
The conference organiser was not immediately available to
comment on the reason behind the delay.
Western sanctions imposed in 2012 on Iran for its nuclear
programme have choked Tehran's production - output is down a
million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of 2012 to 2.7
million bpd - and lost it billions in oil revenue.
Top Iranian officials say the country can raise production
to 4 million bpd within six months of sanctions being lifted.
Western experts are more conservative, saying 3 million to 3.5
million bpd is more likely.
Encouraged by a preliminary nuclear deal struck between Iran
and Western powers in November, Tehran and Big Oil have wasted
no time making contact, in the hope of a full lifting of
Paolo Scaroni of Italy's Eni was the first Western
CEO to meet publicly with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh,
on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries last month.
Eni, Royal Dutch Shell and Total have
already developed some of Iran's oilfields from scratch.