Iran's tendering of 16 oil blocks for exploration has found enormous appeal among world companies, including US firms, which are virtually banned from engagement in the Islamic Republic, a senior oil official said in Tehran on Sunday, IRNA reported.
The head of the exploration division of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Mohammad Mohaddes, said the blocks had been offered last month at a forum in the Dutch city of The Hague, which attracted more than 180 individuals from over 90 enterprises across the world.
"At the forum, the frameworks of the contracts as well as technical and financial issues and execution of seismological surveys and drilling by the contractors were outlined," he said.
A number of American companies expressed their interest in the blocks, Mohaddes said, adding 'there is no problem on the side of Iran for the presence of American oil companies in these plans'.
The official said companies had until April 10 to buy tender documents and submit their bids until July 10, the results of which, he hoped, would be announced in the Iranian month of Shahrivar (August 22-September 21).
Mohaddes put the investment required for their exploration at 300 million dollars, saying each contract was expected to be implemented in 25 years.
The cost of the exploration, he said, will be borne by the contractor and repayments will be in buy-back form, in which companies recoup their investment as well as remuneration and rewards after recovery starts.
NIOC had already announced its bid to make the tenders more attractive, where exploration, appraisal and development of oil blocks are offered all in a package over a span of 25 years.
Iran previously used to tender such operations separately in short-term contracts, which left many foreign developers less interested.
The names of the 16 blocks include Moghan (two blocks), Kuhdasht, Khorramabad, Kermanshah, Bijar, East and West Mokran in the Sea of Oman, Zabol, East Jazmourian, Saravan, Tabas, Garmsar, Saveh, Raz and Maruh Tappeh.
They are among 51 blocks which the country has discovered recently and is intending to gradually put into international tenders. forum.
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