Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : review paper


This article analyzes the history of evolution of oil contracts from concession agreements to production sharing agreements and service contracts from the very beginnings up to 1979. Such an analysis increases our knowledge of oil contracts in order that more efficient ones are to be signed in the near future. Like any historical event that needs to be discussed in relation to what has gone before, it can well be concluded that what is currently happening in the present-day oil contracts cannot be considered independently from their historical embeddings in the pre-revolutionary changes. To this end, one needs to consider the 1333 -1353 – the two significant decades which played an important role in the history of the evolution of oil contracts. It was in this very period that Iran, as a pioneer, started signing concession as well as production sharing and service contracts. Unlike much public historical research regarding the issue of oil industry, the present article attempts to explore the issue, events and the whole process of change from a more professional lens as well as a more historical, economical and legal outlook. The findings demonstrate that it has been in response to different circumstances that the framework of oil contracts has gradually undergone drastic changes. Iran has particularly played a major role in the process – a role that also needs to be maintained hereafter.