September 18, 2015 / 5:36 PM / 5 years ago

Iran to unveil new oil contracts in coming weeks: Shana

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran will unveil new oil development contracts in the coming weeks aiming to attract foreign investors and oil buyers once sanctions on its energy sector are lifted, the Oil Ministry’s website Shana reported on Friday.

Under a deal reached with six major powers in July, the OPEC producer agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for an end to economic sanctions imposed on the country over its disputed nuclear work.

The sanctions imposed on Iran in 2012 have choked Tehran’s oil production. Output is down a million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of 2012 at 2.7 million bpd, depriving it of billions of dollars in oil revenue.

Now they are widely expected to be lifted in 2016, Iran needs Western oil companies to help to revive its giant, aging oilfields and develop new oil and gas projects and the new oil contracts are part of its drive to attract Western investors.

“First, the new contracts will be unveiled in Tehran in the middle of the month of Alban (which starts on October 23),” Shana quoted Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Java as saying.

“Then more details will be revealed at a conference in London.”

The Oil ministry officials had earlier said that the new contracts would be presented to investors at a conference in London in December.

Iran has repeatedly delayed the widely-anticipated London conference, during which it would offer oilfields, projects and its final investment contracts to foreign oil companies.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijal Nada Zanganeh said in August that a new model for oil contacts that allows access to regional and international markets and paves the way for long-term strategic cooperation with major companies have been prepared.

The new contract model will have similar terms to a production sharing agreement, according to Iranian authorities.

Java also predicted that the international oil price would not drop below $40-45 per barrel in 2016.

Echoing Iran’s official stance, Java said Iran plans to regain its oil production share in the oil market by pumping more oil after easing of sanctions.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman

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