Lukoil Keen to Claim Anaran Project

Lukoil Keen to Claim Anaran Project
Lukoil Keen to Claim Anaran Project

Russia's Lukoil is ready to immediately resume operations in Iran's Anaran oil block, the company's managing director, Vagit Alekperov, said after meeting Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in Vienna ahead of an OPEC summit on Friday.

"We have made several proposals to Iran's oil minister to develop Anaran oil block," he said without elaboration, Shana reported.

Russia's second-biggest oil producer has discussed over the past few months the implementation of enhanced oil recovery techniques to raise output from Iran's aging oilfields.

Lukoil and Norway's Statoil signed a contract in 2003 to jointly develop Anaran oil block, but were forced to withdraw when economic sanctions were imposed on Iran.

With an estimated 2 billion barrels of crude reserves, Anaran block in Changouleh Oilfield in western Iran is one of the country's less-developed fields.

Changuleh development projects, presented to major global oil companies in a conference in Tehran earlier this week, have captured the attention of three Russian and a Croatian company.

The oilfield is planned to be developed in two phases, with production capacity expected to rise by 15,000 barrels a day and 40,000-50,000 bpd in the first and second phases respectively.

Zanganeh also met with Rainer Seele, president of Austria's oil and gas major OMV in Vienna.

Seele said the framework of agreements with Tehran has been set and the two sides are waiting for an end to sanctions to officially start cooperation.

In a separate meeting with Zanganeh and chief upstream officer of Italy's Eni Antonio Vella, the Italian official reiterated his company's interest in expanding ties with Iran, but stressed that any agreement is bound to the lifting of sanctions.

Lukoil is reportedly seeking Iranian crude, although Russia is the world's second biggest oil exporter after OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia. In October, Lukoil said it planned to sign a deal on exploration and production with Iran following changes in the Persian Gulf nation’s tax laws.

The Moscow-based company was one of the first European energy giants to reopen office in the Iranian capital after Tehran reached a nuclear agreement with world powers in July to curb its nuclear program in exchange for an end to trade and financial sanctions.