Iran is preparing to publish a second list of companies prequalified to bid on forthcoming tenders on its oil and gas fields, according to an official from National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

NIOC announced at the start of January that it had prequalified 29 international companies to bid to develop upstream assets.

Mehr News Agency quoted NIOC’s Deputy Head of for Development and Engineering Affairs Gholamreza Manouchehri saying that a second list will soon be released.

The original list did not include Russian firms Zarubezhneft and Tatneft, both of which had signed Memorandums of Understanding with NIOC to develop oil fields.

Several international companies have already signed agreements to develop oil and gas fields since nuclear-related sanctions against Iran were lifted in January 2016.

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.