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Iran closer to rolling out new oil project contracts

Despite ongoing quarreling over Iran’s long-delayed new oil and gas model contracts, the issue finally seems set for a resolution.
A gas flare on an oil production platform is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo - RTSIGQ1
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TEHRAN, Iran — Dispute remains ongoing over whether parliamentary approval is required for the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC), a new oil and gas contract model rolled out by the government for upstream projects. Conservative lawmakers want to make further changes to the strategic contract model, arguing that the version approved Aug. 3 by President Hassan Rouhani's Cabinet includes articles that go against Iran's national interest. The IPC is the framework for about 50 upstream oil and gas contracts expected to be signed with foreign investors in coming months

The draft contract, which is aimed at attracting $185 billion in foreign investment in oil and gas production and refining, was first presented to energy investors for feedback last November in Tehran. Since then, the Petroleum Ministry has made 150 changes to it in an attempt to assuage domestic critics. Nevertheless, immediately after the Cabinet’s approval of the IPC, the ultraconservative newspaper Kayhan published an editorial arguing that the amendments only added to the contract’s “disadvantages.” In a separate story published in the same issue, Kayhan implied that both the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the IPC are bad deals that will harm the Iranian economy, thus threatening the national interest. 

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