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$185 Billion In New Oil and Gas Projects Up For Grabs

$185 Billion In New Oil and Gas Projects Up For Grabs

Important news last week -- from a place that's quickly becoming the world's focus for high-impact oil and gas projects.

That's Iran. Where government officials said they are on the verge of revolutionizing the country's petroleum sector. Which could provide big profit opportunities for foreign investors.

Iran's deputy oil minister for commerce and international affairs, Hossein Zamaninia, told Reuters that the country has already identified 50 oil and gas projects it will offer for bids. With the government pegging the value of these properties at $185 billion. Related: Oil Price Rout Set To Inflict Real Pain On Russia

And officials are hoping to get these fields licensed out soon. With Zamaninia saying that the government plans to offer all of the blocks over the next five years.

Perhaps most importantly, Iranian officials say they have designed a new petroleum contract structure for international investors. Which they are calling the "integrated petroleum contract" or IPC. Related: Busting The Myth Of A ‘Green Europe’

Officials said that the IPCs will last for a term of 20 to 25 years. A substantial improvement over the older, shorter-term contracts -- which have been a major stumbling point for the world's oil and gas companies.

Few other details on the IPC structure have yet been provided. But the government noted that the new contracts will address "some of the deficiencies of the old buyback contract". Related: 9 Reasons Why We Should Be More Worried About Low Oil Prices

Deputy Minister Zamaninia said that full details on the new contracts will be announced within the next two to three months. Along with specifics on the fields being offered by the government for bids.

Of course, all of this is predicated on the lifting of Western sanctions against Iran -- which is still not a certainty. But if and when the country does open for investment, it appears there will be substantial prizes to won. Watch for further announcements on projects and fiscal terms over the next few months.

Here's to billions and billions,

Dave Forest

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