Royal Dutch Shell has reached an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on how to clear its outstanding $2.3bn debt. The agreement paves the way for the Anglo-Dutch firm to purchase crude volumes from Iran, as well as to secure acreage in Iran under the terms of the new Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC - MEES, 4 December 2015).
 
The debt stems from purchases of Iranian crude in 2011 and 2012 for which Shell was unable to pay due to the imposition of fresh sanctions in...