Iran to Open its Oil Reserves Ahead of Presidential Elections

Oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has handed the running of Iran’s national oil company to a trusted ally in a push to agree long-awaited deals with global oil majors, which could be derailed by next year’s presidential polls.

Iran has pledged to open up its lucrative oil reserves, the world’s fourth largest, although hardline rivals of reformist President Hassan Rouhani have opposed the new contracts, saying Iranian natural resource reserves cannot be owned by foreigners.

The new deals, known as Iran Petroleum Contracts (IPCs), follow the lifting of Western sanctions in January and would end a system dating back more than 20 years under which foreign firms were banned from owning stakes in Iranian companies.

Iran last week selected several local firms which can become partners of Western oil companies and on Monday, Zanganeh pledged to tender 10 to 15 fields under new deals as early as this summer. Oil majors insist these must be more attractive than the loss-making contracts of the 1990s.

The change follows the naming this month of Zanganeh’s trusted ally Ali Kardor as head of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), replacing Rokneddin Javadi who had held the post since 2013 and has been made deputy oil minister for supervising hydrocarbon resources.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza