Zanganeh, Lukoil Discuss Oilfields
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh discussed developing two Iranian oilfields by Russia’s Lukoil in a meeting with Vagit Alekperov, the company’s chief executive director in Tehran.
“We will hand over the results of our surveys on Abteymour and Mansouri oilfields to the National Iranian Oil Company in the near future. Our team of experts will be in Ahvaz (Khuzestan Province) to expand studies,” Alekperov was quoted as saying by Shana on Monday.
Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil company, has expressed strong interest in Iran’s oil projects after Tehran and the six world powers (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany) reached a landmark agreement in July last year on limiting its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some financial and trade restrictions.
“We have two agreements with the Iranian government to explore territories and specific fields that we find promising,” Alekperov said on Lukoil’s website. “The meeting (on Monday) was a positive step toward closing the deals for the two fields.”
Zanganeh also said without providing details that Lukoil has signed a memorandum of understanding “to develop one of our oilfields,” hoping that the agreement will be implemented soon.
Lukoil is awaiting the finalization of Iran’s new model of oil and gas contracts—officially known as Iran Petroleum Contract—which is to be used to develop dozens of fields.
Mansouri Oilfield is located 60 kilometers off the Persian Gulf in Khuzestan Province. It holds an estimated 3.3 billion barrels of oil in place. Iran currently draws around 60,000 barrels per day from the field, but plans call for boosting output to 100,000 bpd initially and to 150,000 barrels in the long run.
Abteymour oilfield, which is close to Mansouri, is estimated to hold 15 billion barrels of oil in place. Output stands at around 60,000 bpd, but NIOC hopes to produce 110,000 bpd from the field.
The two sides are also setting out a framework for Lukoil’s investment in Iran, Alekperov noted, adding that his company is “exploring opportunities in the Persian Gulf”.
Following the enforcement of tighter restrictions over Iran’s nuclear dispute, Lukoil halted operations in Anaran oil block in the west six years ago. Anaran is estimated to have more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil in place.
The Russian company suffered a $63 million loss when it abandoned the project. In 2013, Iran reimbursed Lukoil $60 million. Lukoil reopened its office in Tehran last year.
Cooperation with Russia’s second-largest oil firm comes as Pertamina, Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas giant, reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement last month to survey the onshore Abteymour and Mansouri fields.