Iran to Offer Licenses for Persian Gulf Blocks

National Iranian Oil Co. is offering exploration rights for eight oil blocks in the Persian Gulf for international tender, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Wednesday.

Zanganeh said that though the tender is open to domestic and international oil companies, it is unlikely that any domestic companies would bid for the exploration work due to the high risk and big investment needed on the fields.

NIOC said geological and seismological surveys of the blocks have been positive. So far, six international companies from Italy, Brazil and Spain have expressed interest in taking on exploration contracts in Iran on a buyback basis.

Iran's Fars news agency quoted an official at NIOC's exploration department as saying that the proposals by the bidders in the tender are being studied and the winner of the first block will be unveiled in late October.