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Slower than thought

Politics, uncertainties over contract terms and physical constraints will cap the speed of Iranian oil’s revival

Iran's post-sanctions return to the global oil and gas market is not going as smoothly as optimists hoped it would. A London conference at which the terms for upstream investment contracts were to have been unveiled has been postponed. The politics look increasingly difficult, including parliamentary elections on 26 February that seem likely to extend conservative dominance. Investor qualms are deepening. The government expects to increase output by 0.5m barrels a day in 2016 and at a minimum regain pre-sanctions capacity of around 3.8m b/d. Production in January rose by 80,000 b/d to 2.9m b/d, and has probably inched higher in February too. But these goals may be missed. The target-setting

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