Heightened geopolitical tension is deterring international investors from returning to Iran’s upstream. Iran has successfully brought crude output and exports back up to pre-sanctions levels since January 2016 (MEES, 9 February). But foreign participation is required if it is to make the next step.

Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh says Iran’s oil and gas sector needs $200bn investment, of which 65-75% ($130-150bn) would be from international firms. But to date, the only post-sanctions deal remains June 2017’s $4.8bn agreement with France’s Total and China’s CNPC for Phase 11 of the South Pars gas field (MEES, 23 June 2017). (CONTINUED - 1075 WORDS)