NIOC Expects More Energy Deals

NIOC Expects More Energy Deals
NIOC Expects More Energy Deals

Iran expects to sign a dozen new oil and gas deals with international companies in the near future, extending the number of contracts it has already sealed with Total, CNPC and Royal Dutch Shell.

"We have signed 15 memoranda of understanding with major international companies for cooperation in the oil sector. Negotiations are underway to sign 12 more agreements," Gholamreza Manouchehri, deputy chief of National Iranian Oil Company was quoted as saying by ISNA.

Iran signed a preliminary agreement with Shell on Wednesday to study the South Azadegan and Yadavaran oilfields and the Kish Gas Field.

The deal follows a landmark agreement signed last month with France's Total S.A., another European oil and gas major, to develop Phase 11 of South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf in cooperation with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Manouchehri added that Shell will present a development plan for the three fields after completing the studies.

Total and CNPC are also in talks over developing Yadavaran and North Azadegan oilfields, two giant fields in southern Khuzestan Province near the Iraqi border estimated to hold 67 billion barrels of oil in place.

The official recalled that Iran is opening up its energy market to international investors  in an effort to develop the key upstream oil and gas projects through foreign investment and technology.

Tehran is pushing for new deals with foreign oil and gas companies to develop its West Karun oil block in the south that consists of Yaran and Mansouri fields as well as Yadavaran, North and South Azadegan joint fields with Iraq, Manouchehri said.

"Extraction rate from South and North Azadegan and Yaran oilfields is now between 5.5% and 6%, but we are discussing terms with companies like Shell to boost output from these fields under 20-year contracts."

   First Oil Tender by Early 2017

Tehran will hold the first international tender for its oil and gas industry early next year, said Ali Kardor, the chief executive of National Iranian Oil Company.

"South Azadegan oilfield will be the first project that will be put out to tender in early 2017," Kardor said. "Several firms have held talks over South Azadegan and it may be developed by a consortium."

He added that American companies so far have not approached Tehran for energy projects since the lifting of sanctions 11 months ago, as restrictions imposed by the United States prohibits US firms from engaging in commercial activities with Iran.

Iran is planning to tender some 50 oil and gas projects under a new style of contracts, known as Iran Petroleum Contract.

According to Kardor, the agreements to study Iran's oil and gas fields "have no conflict with the tenders … development studies can be carried out prior to holding the international tenders."

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints