Iran to modify oil laws, encourage foreign investment

Iran's Majlis (parliament) is changing its laws in order to entice foreign firms to participate more in its oil and gas development projects.Iran's new 2005-10 economic development plan will enable exploration companies to develop the fields in which they find oil and will favor companies interested in finding new fields outside the oil-rich southwest. Under the new plan National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) will not conduct new exploration work in the southwest. The new legislation also loosens Iran's restrictive "buy-back" agreements, under which field developers are compensated with output before the fields return to NIOC.Few buy-backs have been concluded under the discouraging s...

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