Europeans Hover Over West Karun

Europeans Hover Over West KarunEuropeans Hover Over West Karun

Foreign oil companies, mostly from Europe, have expressed readiness to develop West Karun oilfields, the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company's managing director said. Abdolreza Haji-Hosseinnejad added that at present, general negotiations are being held with foreign companies, IRNA reported. He did not name the companies.

Most foreign companies negotiate only over the second phase of South Azadegan Oilfield, until the Chinese contractors of North Azadegan and Yadavaran oilfields finish talks with the Oil Ministry.

Earlier, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said development of West Karun oilfields in the southern Khuzestan Province is Iran's top priority to raise crude production and regain its lost ground in the global oil market in the post-sanctions period.  

"Based on contracts with the Chinese companies operating in the two oilfields, we must first negotiate with the contractors," Haji-Hosseinnejad said, adding that in case agreement is not reached, other companies can enter into talks with Iran.

South Azadegan, North Azadegan, Yadavaran, North Yadavaran and South Yadavaran are located in West Karun zone, near Iran's border with Iraq.

By developing West Karun oilfields, Iran expects to produce 700,000 barrels a day from them in three years, and in the next step, a production capacity of 1 million bpd is predicted. The oilfields are shared with the neighboring Iraq, which has posed a challenge to Iran.

Iraq has managed in recent years to fast develop these joint fields, backed by its huge financial resources and giant companies' cutting-edge technology. Iran, however, has made much less progress due to the US-engineered sanctions.

Currently, the Chinese contractors of Sinopec and CNPC operate in the first phases of Yadavaran and Azadegan oilfields, respectively. Based on the contracts signed by the last administration, the Chinese companies are prioritized over other interested companies. Iranian contractors are active in West Karun's other fields.