* Iran to launch tender for South Azadegan oil field
* A total of 11 fields will eventually be offered - NIOC
* Iran seeks to revive sector after years of sanctions
(Recasts, updates throughout)
By Rania El Gamal
TEHRAN, Oct 17 Iran will launch next month its
first new style tender to develop oil and gas fields since the
lifting of international sanctions, a leading oil official said
on Monday, after months of internal discussions over the terms,
intended to be more alluring to foreign companies.
OPEC's third largest oil producer hopes to revive its energy
sector following the lifting of the sanctions in January after
years of under investment and to achieve production levels last
seen in 2012.
Other U.S. sanctions that remain in place, particularly on
the banking sector, have dampened hopes for a rapid resumption
Iran expects to tender new oil and gas contracts, knows as
IPCs, in November, Ali Kardor, the managing director of the
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said on the sidelines of an
oil conference in Tehran.
Oil companies will be able to bid for a contract to develop
the South Azadegan oil field as early as November 19, and NIOC
will award the contract by early 2017, he said.
After South Azadegan, NIOC will start tendering one field
month by month, Kardor said. There are total 11 oil and gas
fields available for tendering, he said.
The launch of the Iran's new oil and gas contracts was
postponed several times as hard line rivals of pragmatist
President Hassan Rouhani resisted any deal that could end the
so-called buy-back system, under which foreign firms were banned
from owning stakes in Iranian companies.
NIOC signed the first oil output contract under IPC earlier
this month with a company identified by the United States as
part of a conglomerate controlled by Iran's supreme
NIOC began taking applications on Monday for its upstream
oil and gas projects as Iran hopes to sign exploration and
production contracts early next year.
The oil companies will upload on to NIOC's website the
pre-qualification documents. NIOC will then evaluate the
companies within two weeks and will select some for the first
tender in November.
Some analysts said Iran's IPCs do not seem to be attractive
enough to raise billions of dollars in foreign direct investment
at a time of low oil prices, especially when compared with
neighbouring Iraq's new oil contracts that enabled it to boost
However Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said on Monday that
Iran's security and business climate is better than other
"Some countries are run by tribes, Iran is different than
that," Jahangiri told the petroleum conference, addressing
representatives of oil majors such as Total and BP.
"Even if Iran's contracts are not as attractive as others
signed in neighbouring countries, Iran has its own advantages."
(Reporting by Rania El Gamal, writing by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
and Ron Bousso; Editing by Andrew Heavens and William Hardy)