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Did America Just Get Left Behind On This Emerging Oil Play?

Did America Just Get Left Behind On This Emerging Oil Play?

Short, but very important note for the global oil and gas industry this week. Suggesting that a few select players in the business are making a big move on one of the world's newest petro-plays.

That's Iran. A nation with top oil and gas potential -- which is quickly shaping up as the next "gold rush" in the business, as the country moves toward a lifting of Western sanctions.

Local press in Iran reported that some oil and gas players are moving especially fast to take advantage of this shift. With European companies squarely leading the pack. Related: The Clock Is Ticking On The U.S. Dollar As World’s Reserve Currency

Reports noted that a "Norwegian-Austrian" group of companies has already finalized a "master development plan" for one of Iran's key offshore oil fields, Esfandyar. Suggesting that this conglomerate will be involved in revamping production from this asset.

The owner of Esfandyar, Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), suggested that this may be a first step toward a full-blown foreign contract for the field. With IOOC's managing director Saeid Hafezi saying that the European group is "ready to start work based on Iran’s new oil contract models." Related: Is This The Next Great Threat To The Oil Industry?

At the same time, press reports noted that IOOC is also in talks with "a Ukranian company" on development of the Dorud oil field. And Russian press said Iran is already negotiating with European majors Total and Eni on possible field contracts.

All of which puts Europe firmly in the lead when it comes to securing big assets in a newly-opened Iran. Related: Why Oil Price Predictions Are Always Off

By contrast, American E&Ps appear to have made nearly no in-roads into the petroleum sector here. Raising the risk that big prizes could already be doled out by the time they get to the table.

The Iranian government has said it will formally start shopping oil and gas projects for foreign investment this December in London. We'll see what's left for bids by that time.

Here's to first-mover advantage,

Dave Forest

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Leave a comment
  • Amvet on September 24 2015 said:
    It would not be unreasonable that companies from the country that has damaged Iran so much in the past would go to the back of the line or worse. Iranians do remember
    (1) Replacing a popular elected leader with the Shah.
    (2) Helping the Iraqis kill Iranians during the Iraq invasion.
    (3) Shooting down a commercial airplane that had just taken off from an Iranian airport.
    (4) A years long trade embargo from the US and from any country that the US could bully into boycotting.
    (5) Continuous naval incursions by the US fleet and aircraft.
  • mulp on September 27 2015 said:
    Republicans want to create jobs outside the US so the US goes into a recession while Obama is president so they can blame Obama for the recession they have tried to create for his entire presidency.

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