(Adds BP not on list, background)
By Tom Arnold
DUBAI Jan 2 Iran has named 29 companies from
more than a dozen countries as being allowed to bid for oil and
gas projects using the new, less restrictive Iran Petroleum
Contract (IPC) model, the oil ministry news website SHANA
reported on Monday.
The list of pre-qualified firms included Shell,
France's Total, Italy's Eni, Malaysia's
Petronas and Russia's Gazprom and Lukoil
, as well as companies from China, Austria, Japan and
Iran hopes its new IPC, part of an effort to sweeten the
terms it offers on oil development deals, will attract foreign
investors and boost production after years of sanctions.
The list did not include oil major BP. The Financial
Times said BP had opted out of the bidding because of concerns
over possible renewed U.S.-Iran tensions after President-elect
Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20.
Trump has said he will scrap the deal between Iran and world
powers that imposed curbs on Tehran's nuclear projects and
lifted sanctions on the Iranian economy last January.
State-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed the
first oil output contract under the IPC model in October with an
Iranian firm identified by the United States as part of a
conglomerate controlled by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The IPC model has been delayed several times due to
opposition from hardline rivals of President Hassan Rouhani. It
ends a buy-back system dating back more than 20 years under
which Iran did not allow foreign firms to book reserves or take
equity stakes in Iranian companies.
The new IPC has more flexible terms that take into account
oil price fluctuations and investment risks, a senior Iranian
oil official told Reuters in November.
Oil majors have said they would only go back to Iran if it
makes major changes to the buy-back contracts, which companies
such as France's Total or Italy's Eni said made them no money or
even incurred losses.
For a full list of the companies: here
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; editing by Jason Neely and David