N. Azadegan, Yadavaran Oilfields Await Iran-China Talks

N. Azadegan, Yadavaran Oilfields Await Iran-China Talks
N. Azadegan, Yadavaran Oilfields Await Iran-China Talks

Negotiations with China’s major oil and gas companies, China National Petroleum Corporation and Sinopec, on developing two joint oilfields of Yadavaran and North Azadegan in the southern Khuzestan Province are underway, the National Iranian Oil Company’s planning director said Sunday.

“Cooperation with CNPC in developing the second phase of North Azadegan Oilfield is still possible, but talks have not been finalized,” Abdolhamid Delparish was also quoted as saying by IRNA.

The state-run CNPC was handed the development of North and South Azadegan oilfields. It was booted out of South Azadegan in 2014 after repeated delays in fulfilling its contractual obligations, although it has fared better in the North project.

Delparish underscored that NIOC is in talks with the Sinopec on taking over the second phase of Yadavaran joint field, the first phase of which was developed by the Chinese company.

Sinopec, who over the development of Yadavaran Oilfield during the sanctions, resumed talks on developing the second phase following Tehran's nuclear agreement with the six world powers (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) in July 2015.

 “NIOC contracts will not be restricted to the new Iran Petroleum Contracts, as other contractual models, namely buyback, EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) and EPCF (engineering, procurement, construction, finance), are also on the table,” he said without defining the type of contract NIOC intends to conclude with the Chinese.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in May that Chinese firms will maintain their role in the second development phase of North Azadegan and Yadavaran oilfields based on their initial contracts to develop the two fields in the first phase.

According to Delparish, several oil projects will be put to tender in the near future.

“For raising production in the developed oilfields, transfer of technology is the priority, but for untapped fields investment is the main factor,” the official noted.