The Caspian Sea is well known for its wealth of natural oil and gas resources. Each country bordering the sea has hastened to launch new exploration and exploitation projects, in order to maximize the potential afforded by these natural resources.

For this reason, on June 18 2002 the Iranian legislature ratified a new law which authorizes the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to conclude contracts with Iranian and foreign companies in order to implement and execute exploration and exploitation plans in the Caspian oil and gas fields. The law provides that the full costs and expenses of these projects will be covered by the income they generate. The Economic Council is responsible for ratifying the technical and economic development plans for these projects.

Any contracts to be concluded with foreign governments must first be approved by the Parliament (Majlis).

For further information on this topic please contact Behrooz Akhlaghi at International Law Office Dr Behrooz Akhlaghi and Associates by telephone (+98 21 873 21 38) or by fax (+98 21 873 41 29) or by email ([email protected]).