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In a first since the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran will invite foreign firms to bid on oil and gas projects

Iran oil
An oil refinery in Tehran in 2007. For the first time since the nuclear deal went into effect, Iran will offer an international tender for oil and gas projects.
(Vahid Salemi / Associated Press)

Iran will invite foreign companies to bid for oil and gas projects for the first time since last year’s landmark nuclear deal with world powers, the country’s Ministry of Petroleum said Sunday.

The ministry did not say how many projects would be involved but said they include exploration and production in oil and gas fields, with the bidding process opening on Monday.

It will be the first time Iran offers an international tender for oil and gas projects since the nuclear deal went into effect in January.

The ministry’s website said foreign companies should submit their applications by Nov. 19 and that successful companies would be announced on Dec. 7.

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Iran had previously said that priority for exploration and production for foreign companies would be given to neighboring countries with which it shares border fields. The country has 28 joint offshore and onshore gas and oil fields with those countries.

Iran has already upgraded its model for oil contracts, allowing for a potential full recovery of costs over almost two decades. Earlier this month, Iran signed the first such contract with a local oil company.

With production exceeding 3.5 million barrels of crude per day, the OPEC producer hopes to attract more than $150 billion in technology-intensive foreign investment in its oil, gas and petrochemical industry by 2020.

International sanctions were lifted in January under the deal, which curbed Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

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