Aside from becoming the number one petrochemicals powerhouse in the Middle East within the next three years, Iran’s priorities in the current U.S. sanctions environment is to increase its production of gas, particularly from the South Pars field, and of oil, particularly from the West Karoun fields. In both cases, this is partly because of the sheer opportunity available in the resources but partly as well because Iran can use the fact that many of these reservoirs are shared with Iraq to operate largely unfettered by such sanctions. The last major foreign development firms that remain in Iran, principally from China and Russia, in the meantime, are equally keen to obfuscate the extent of their presence in Iran not just by engaging in these shared reservoirs in preference to standalone fields but also by operating where they can as just straightforward ‘contractors’, rather than fully-fledged field developers. There are […]