The chase is on for some of the most prized oil and gas assets in the world, following the lifting of sanctions on Iran earlier this year. The historic deal paved the way for the country to rebuild its lost production capacity and fight for market share.
If all goes as planned, Tehran's oil officials will attract roughly $200 billion in new oil and gas investment, but the path to that target is fraught with obstacles.
In October the National Iranian Oil Company, or NIOC, began taking applications from foreign firms for some 50 crude and natural gas projects around the country. While details are not available, these include deals from European giants Royal Dutch Shell, France's Total and Italy's Eni, as well as Russian and Chinese drillers, according to NIOC.
The stakes are high. Iran is home to the world's fourth-largest reserves of crude oil and second-biggest deposits of natural gas, and much of it is relatively cheap to extract. Its energy assets are staggering; the Persian Gulf nation has 158 billion barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
But the country's production has been stymied by international sanctions that strangled its energy sector in recent years.