Iran is back in business.” These words opened the 3rd Annual Iran Oil, Gas & Energy Week in Istanbul on 1-2 March and delegates attending the event were eager to gauge just how open Iran’s oil and gas sector really is. Concerns remain over the complexity of the remaining sanctions regime and a continued lack of information regarding key oil contract details, but delegates are hopeful that Iran’s elections earlier in the week will result in movement on some of these matters.

One of those in attendance was Hungarian firm MOL, which is considering entering Iran’s upstream sector. The company has expanded its presence in the Middle East in recent years, with operations in Iraqi Kurdistan, Oman and the UAE. However, it has experienced considerable setbacks in its Kurdistan operations. MOL confirmed relinquishment of its 80% stake of the Akri Bijeel block there on 11 January, writing off $440mn in investment due to the field’s disappointing performance (MEES, 15 January). (CONTINUED - 1656 WORDS)