State-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is planning to release a list of international oil companies (IOCs) eligible to bid on oil and gas field developments within the next two months.

Managing director Ali Kardor said that disregarding American companies there are 37 groups that meet the required standards for taking part in NIOC tenders.

American companies are unlikely to show interest in the Iranian oil sector due to the remaining US sanctions against the Islamic Republic and domestic political pressure.

“Not all foreign companies active in oil industry can partake in Iran’s tenders, so only those international companies that meet NIOC’s standards will be chosen,” Kardor said a gathering in in Tehran on 18 July, Petroleum Ministry news service Shana reported.

He added that investment of over $100bn is needed for investment in Iranian oil and gas fields and that such an amount cannot be attract through corporate financing alone.

The Iranian government is preparing the Iranian Petroleum Contract (IPC) model to attract foreign investment in its oil and gas sector after the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions in January. However, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in early July that it requires further reforms before it can be offered to IOCs.