Iran says it is negotiating with 16 international energy companies over investing in the exploration and development of oil and gas projects that it recently put out on tender.
Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, the deputy head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for engineering and development affairs, told reporters that all the projects which were put out on tender earlier this week are feasible even with oil at $40 a barrel.
"We have a lot of companies approaching NIOC," Bloomberg quoted Manouchehri as saying. "I'm not sure when we'll sign the first contract. I hope it will be earlier" than a year from now.
On Monday, the NIOC invited eligible international companies to participate in the pre-qualification phase of a tender for 50 exploration and development targets across the country.
The targets include a variety of low and average risk oil and gas fields. They include lucrative oil targets like South Azadegan, Changuleh, and Ahwaz-Bangestan as well as promising gas fields such as Kish, Farzad-A, North Pars, Golshan and Ferdowsi.
Manouchehri told reporters that South Azadegan field - which is located on Iran's southwestern border with Iraq - will be probably the first deal that will be announced, but could not provide an exact timing. He added that the project probably needs $10 billion to reach 600,000 barrels a day of output.
The tender is a central part of Iran's plans to increase its production to above four million barrels per day - the same level that existed before a series of draconian US-led economic sanctions were imposed against the country in 2012.
Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said earlier that Iran's oil production has already neared pre-sanctions levels, adding that the country was already producing around four million barrels of oil per day.
In recent years, Iran's Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
Iran's Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.
... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --