Iran is preparing to introduce 45 new oil projects to potential investors as it looks to attract investment into the country post-sanctions.
Iran finally reached an historic agreement with the P5+1 countries late last month, over Iran's nuclear activities, which paves the way for a string of sanctions to be lifted.
The country's officials are now hopeful the country could be capable of increasing its oil output capacity to as high as 5.7 MMb/d. In 2011, the last full year before sanctions on Iranian oil exports were imposted, Iranian crude production averaged about 3.7 MMb/d, according to business consultancy Deloitte.
Adviser to Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Zangeneh, said Iran’s oil production will double in the short term, according to the Iranian National Oil Company (NIOC), with costs per barrel at $8-10.
NIOC says Mehdi Hosseini, chairman of Iran's oil contracts restructuring committee, says production will exceed 4 MMb/d once sanctions are lifted and that thw 5.7 MMb/d could be achieved once 45 new oil projects that Iran has recently defined and plans to introduce to investors come on stream.
These projects and a new Iran Petroleum Contract, are due to be put to potential investors at a conference in London in December.
The new IPC will be a modification of the traditional buy-back risk service contracts and has been specifically designed to increase the attractiveness of Iranian oil projects for foreign investors, says the NIOC.
The IPC offers different stages of exploration, development and production to the contractors as an integrated package.
Also, Iran will set up joint ventures with the contractors to extract reserves at the fields. The contractors will be accordingly reimbursed through a share of production from the fields, says NIOC.
International commentators have been a little more subdued about Iran's oil output increases. Deloitte said the return of Iran to international markets markets could reshape the global oil market but, while oil exports are expected to increase rapidly once sanctions are lifted, foreign investment would only return in the 2020s.
According to Deloitte, total Iranian crude oil production in 2016, on an annual average basis, will likely range from 3-3.7 MMb/d.
For 2014, Iranian crude oil production averaged about 2.8 MMb/d and exports averaged close to 1 MMb/d (domestic crude oil refining accounted for the remainder of production).
"In the early to mid-1970s, prior to the Iranian revolution and the devastation of the Iran-Iraq war, Iran was able to produce 5.5–6 MMb/d, a level to which it never completely recovered," Deloitte has said.