TEHRAN (Bloomberg) — Iran qualified 29 international oil companies to bid in upcoming tenders for crude and natural gas development projects as the Persian Gulf state seeks investment in energy.
China National Petroleum Corp., Royal Dutch Shell and Total are among the companies that will be invited to bid in tenders, according to a list published Monday on the website of state producer National Iranian Oil Co. Total, along with Lukoil PJSC and the oil unit of Gazprom PJSC, are some of the companies on the list that have already signed preliminary agreements with Iran to study oil fields for potential future development.
Iran aims to attract more than $100 billion in foreign investment to speed growth in its energy industry after sanctions cut international companies’ involvement in developing the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves. Since sanctions eased in January, the Persian Gulf producer has doubled exports as crude prices rallied. Brent crude gained 52% last year and traded at $57.08/bbl at 11:48 a.m. in Dubai.
The country boosted oil production last year by 870,000 bpd to 3.67 MMbpd by November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the country has reached several preliminary agreements with international companies, it has yet to sign any concrete deals to boost crude production since Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh outlined more than 50 potential projects at a Tehran conference in November 2015. Zanganeh said at the time the country was targeting about 5.7 MMbpd of crude and condensate production early in the next decade.
Companies from Italy, Spain, Japan and India also made the list. U.S. oil services provider Schlumberger was among those identified, according to the NIOC website. U.S. sanctions legislation prevents companies based in that country from investing in Iran’s energy industry, while foreign subsidiaries of American entities are allowed to operate in the Persian Gulf country.