Iran Says New Oil Contracts Need More Amendments

Reuters

DUBAI, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Iran's new oil and gas contracts will need amendments, its oil minister said on Tuesday after a meeting with the speaker of parliament, adding that the new contracts will not be sent to the assembly for final approval.

The launch of the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) has been postponed several times as hardline 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.

Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said last month that no new oil and gas contracts for international companies would be awarded without necessary reforms.

Iran's cabinet approved this month an amended draft for the IPC and sent it to the parliament. However, the latest comments from the oil minister showed the lawmakers and other advisory bodies have asked for more changes.

"Yesterday afternoon we had a meeting with Ali Larijani (the speaker of the parliament) on the new oil contracts in which some issues were raised. It was decided to make some amendments in the contracts," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the parliament's news agency ICANA.

Zanganeh added the IPC will not be sent to the parliament for final approval.

The Islamic Republic is ramping up oil production and reclaiming market share after the lifting of Western sanctions in January.

Iran annoucned on Tuesday that it is pumping 3.850 million barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) and exporting 2.2 million bpd.

The minister told parliament last week that he wanted to raise output to 4.6 million bpd within five years, well above pre-sanction levels of 3.8-4.0 million.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, editing by William Hardy)

Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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