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Iran 's buyback negotiator set for London post

LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Veteran Iranian oil and gas buyback negotiator Seyed Mehdi Hosseini is heading to the National Iranian Oil Company's London branch to run the KALA upstream oil procurement arm, industry sources said on Tuesday.

Deputy Oil Minister Hosseini - who hammered out a number of buyback development deals with foreign oil companies - is due to arrive in about three months to take over from Ardeshir Fathi Nejad, an oil executive said.

Hosseini's imminent departure from Tehran might allow Iran 's Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (Pedec) to assume a more active role in negotiations for buyback deals, where investors get repaid in production, the industry sources said.

Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh early this year instructed state-owned Pedec, run by Seyed Mehdi Mirmoezi - also acting Deputy Manager of NIOC - and A.V. Al Agha, to negotiate and execute buybacks.

But the company has only gone so far as to implement deals - most notably Shell's Soroush/Nowrooz package - while negotiator Hosseini has been in his slot, industry sources said.

Ahmed Rahgozar, acting Managing Director of NIOC International, is tipped to head negotiations for downstream gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), the industry sources added.


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