By Sara Rajabova
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has ordered a review of buy-back oil contracts in a bid to make them more attractive for potential foreign investors, director of consolidated planning at the National Iranian Oil Company Abdol-Mohammad Delparish said, Press TV reported.
Delparish informed that Zanganeh's instructions involve "structural changes to oil contracts" in view of "inviting famous domestic and foreign oil companies."
He noted that special groups have been established in relevant bodies to review the contracts in order to make them more attractive and facilitate the entry of foreign investors into this industry.
Delparish added that different generations of buy-back contracts in the petroleum industry are currently being examined.
Under a buy-back deal, the host government agrees to pay the contractor an agreed price for all volumes of hydrocarbons the contractor produces.
"Production sharing agreements in the petroleum industry are not our priority and our focus is on other types of contracts including buy-backs which have already been experienced," Delparish noted.
Besides, Iranian Oil ministry has invited six big foreign companies to invest in Iran's oil and gas sector, Fars news agency reported.
The companies that Iranian ministry has proposed to are Shell (UK), Total (France), Repsol (Spain), Inpex (Japan), OMV (Austria), and Statoil (Norway).
Iran's ministry invited the companies to participate in development of oil and gas projects in the country.
Prior to the international sanctions being imposed on Iran, all of the mentioned companies have worked in Iran.
Earlier, Zanganeh has said that Iran will soon increase its oil exports in defiance of restrictions imposed on the country's energy sector.
He recently voiced Iran's willingness to cooperate with any foreign energy firms which could help the country's oil exploration and extraction.
Iran holds the world's third-largest proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves estimated at 29.61 trillion cubic meters (tcm), and plans to use foreign companies for various oil and gas related projects.
The country's total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels, with about 140 billion barrels of extractable oil.
Moreover, heavy and extra heavy varieties of crude oil account for roughly 70-100 billion barrels of the total reserves.
Iran has previously dismissed foreign investment in oil industry of the country, because of sanctions of U.S and West .