Iran has unveiled details for long-awaited foreign cooperation contracts which it hopes will attract oil buyers and investors to modernize its aging infrastructure, including offers to take part in joint ventures to extract its huge reserves.
The United Nations endorsed a deal in July to end years of economic sanctions on the Islamic republic over its nuclear program, although a removal of those sanctions still requires U.S.-Congressional approval.
Iran, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has some of the world’s biggest oil and gas reserves, and officials have identified around four dozen projects worth $185 billion it hopes to develop by 2020.
Pre-sanctions agreements between Iran and foreign energy firms offered partners oil and gas revenue payments in return for cash investment in so-called buyback contracts. But foreigners were barred from joint ventures or from extracting themselves, making these contracts unpopular with investors.
Iranian officials say that’s about to change.