Iran’s National Iranian Oil Company has prequalified 29 international oil and gas exploration and production companies to submit tenders to develop upstream projects in the country.

Western oil majors, Russian as well as several Asian companies, a South American firm and long-term partner China, which continued to invest in Iran throughout the sanctions era, have been invited to bid.

The prequalified companies are:

  • Cepsa (Spain)
  • CNOOC (China)
  • CNPC (China)
  • CNPW (China)
  • DNO (Norway)
  • Eni (Italy)
  • Gazprom (Russia)
  • Inpex Corporation (Japan)
  • Itochu (Japan)
  • Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japan)
  • Korea Gas Corporation (South Korea)
  • Lukoil (Russia)
  • Maersk (Denmark)
  • Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan)
  • Mitsui (Japan)
  • OMV (Austria)
  • ONGC Videsh (India)
  • Perenco Holding (UK)
  • Pertamina (indonesia)
  • Petronas (Malaysia)
  • PGNIG (Poland)
  • Plus Petrol (Argentina)
  • Posco Daewoo (South Korea)
  • PTT Exploration & Production (Thailand)
  • Schlumberger (US)
  • Shell (UK/Netherlands)
  • Sinopec (China)
  • Total (France)
  • Wintershall (Germany)

Tehran is keen to get Western oil companies to participate in the Iranian energy sector before president-elect Donald Trump, who has proposed policy antagonistic to Iran, takes office on 20 January. Last year, oil majors Total and CNPC signed a $4.8bn preliminary agreement to develop phase 11 of the South Pars gas field.

Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell also signed a memorandum of understanding to re-enter the Iranian energy sector in December.

Russian energy giant Gazprom signed agreements in November to conduct studies on the western Cheshmeh Khosh and Changuleh fields.

Other energy firms such as Norway’s DNO, Poland’s PGNIG have signed agreements to undertake studies on Iranian oil and gas fields such as Changuleh and Sumar fields. 

Tehran, which has been exempted from the Opec production cuts aims to increase its oil output to pre-sanction levels of 4 million barrels a day in 2017.