NIOC, European Firms Discuss Oil Blocks

NIOC, European Firms Discuss Oil Blocks
NIOC, European Firms Discuss Oil Blocks

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is negotiating with 15 European and 3 Asian firms prospects for investment in 40 new oil exploration blocks in Iran, NIOC director for exploration Hormoz Ghalavand told a press conference, Shana reported.

"NIOC is finalizing deals with a European university and a company for cooperation in Zagros exploration block," he said, stressing that of the 96 exploration blocks discovered over the past 12 years, only 11 are operational. He did not name names.

Based on the new Iran Petroleum Contracts (IPC), foreign investors will be allowed to explore, develop and produce in the exploration blocks.

  15 Blocks in 12 Years

The NIOC has invested around $1.04 billion in the past 12 years for the development of 15 exploration blocks.

"The operations of 11 blocks are complete and 3 were abandoned due to the sanctions, but the NIOC has undertaken the operations of one of the blocks," he said.

The budget allocated for exploration in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 2014) was around $110 million, according to Ghalavand.

  Shale Oil

The NIOC official stated that studies for the exploration of shale oil and gas reserves will be expanded, because the US, Canada and Mexico's oil production will increase from the current 17 million barrels to 27 million barrels per day in 2020. Three shale oil projects are underway in Iran: Ghalikouh project in Lorestan Province with 70 percent progress, a shale gas project in Lorestan with 10 percent progress, and the discovery of Clathrate hydrates reserves in the Gulf of Oman with 90 percent progress.