AMSTERDAM (Dispatches) -- Iranian oil and natural gas companies said Wednesday they were among the hundreds on hand in the Netherlands to introduce investment opportunities to the world.
Iranian energy companies are among the hundreds attending an annual offshore energy conference in Amsterdam, which wrapped up Wednesday. The Pars Oil and Gas Co., which helps drive operations at Iran's offshore South Pars natural gas field, said in a statement it was one of a handful of Iranian companies with a pavilion set up at the exhibition.
"Pars Oil and Gas Company, Iranian Offshore Oil Company, Iranian oil Terminals Company, and Petroleum Engineering and Development Company are among active companies in the offshore industry of Iran that have attended this exhibition in order to introduce the opportunities for international investors to participate in Iranian offshore industries," the company stated.
In its first contract in the post-sanctions era, a consortium of French energy company Total, China National Petroleum Corp. and Petropars Ltd., a subsidiary of the state-run National Iranian Oil Co., signed a 20-year contract in early July to help develop parts of the giant South Pars natural gas field in the Persian Gulf, among the largest in the world.
The Total-led deal cleared a path for future investments from foreign energy companies. President Hassan Rouhani's administration set a goal of signing 10 new development deals by the end of the Iranian calendar year, March 20.
However, a tender for developing Iran's Azadegan oilfield has been delayed again, a senior Iranian oil official said, adding that it will not take place in 2017.
Tehran is looking to increase its crude output, and with 37 billion barrels of oil, the Azadegan field is Iran's largest, shared with neighboring Iraq.
Iran said in June that international energy companies including Total, Malaysia's Petronas and Japan's Inpex, have presented technical surveys for the development of the Azadegan field for the tender.
"The companies are still assessing the technical surveys. The tender will not take place in 2017," managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Ali Kardor, was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.
The tender for developing the Azadegan oilfield, Iran’s first such tender since the lifting of sanctions more than a year ago, has been postponed several times for unspecified reasons.
Kardor said the tender has not been affected by U.S. President Donald Trump's policies against Iran and added that the Chinese, Russian and European companies were still committed to investing in Iran.
Trump is expected to "decertify" this week a multilateral 2015 deal Iran struck with world powers that brought sanctions relief to Iran.
Remaining U.S. sanctions on Iran make it difficult to do business with the country. Governors from the Central Bank of Iran met in July with representatives from the International Monetary Fund to discuss lingering capital issues.
Speaking Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said his government is frustrated by Iran's role in the region, but supported the nuclear agreement nonetheless.
"The nuclear deal was a crucial agreement that neutralized Iran's nuclear threat," he said in a statement.
At an energy event Tuesday, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said Iran will launch a $5 billion oilfield investment package within the next two years aimed at maintaining and enhancing its crude oil production.
Crude oil production capacity is planned to rise by nearly 1 million barrels a day to about 4.7 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2021 from the present 3.8 million barrels a day.
Zangeneh said his ministry hopes to make a decision on how to develop all oil and gas fields by the middle of 2021, the end of his second consecutive tenure as oil minister under President Rouhani's administration.
"Making a decision does not mean full development, but it is about hammering out a framework to develop the fields," he said.