Tehran Envisions Role for SOCAR in Oil, Gas Ventures

Tehran Envisions Role for SOCAR in Oil, Gas VenturesTehran Envisions Role for SOCAR in Oil, Gas Ventures

Tehran is planning to implement new energy projects for boosting its oil and gas extraction level and Azerbaijan’s state-run oil company SOCAR is welcome to play an active role.

Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Amirhossein Zamaninia made the statement on the sidelines of a meeting with Rovnag Ibrahim Abdullayev, president of SOCAR, late on Thursday in Baku, IRNA reported.

“Drawing on each other’s expertise in undertaking oil and natural gas ventures can strengthen both states’ economy,” Zamaninia said, adding that there is a huge ground for cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan, especially in the energy sector, to help foster the two nation’s economic development.

He added that the two sides should make the best of the opportunity for joint collaboration to tap into the rich oil and gas resources of Caspian Sea region, the world’s biggest lake.

“The terms of exploration and development in the region’s oil and gas fields, sharing the latest technologies in the oil and gas industry and joint analysis of seismic data for exploring deep underwater hydrocarbon resources were among the major issues discussed in the meeting,” he said.

According to Zamaninia, Tehran is eager to develop offshore oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea in collaboration with foreign majors.

“To expand oil and gas development in the Caspian region, we need to reach out to international companies for funds, technology and partnership,” he added.

Pointing to deep bonds of economic relations between the two countries, Abdullayev said, “Regular negotiations between Iran and Azerbaijan’s energy officials will not only strengthen cooperation but also persuade the two sides to get involved in joint ventures.”

According to the official, several meetings have been held between NIOC representatives and SOCAR, since Tehran and world powers reached a landmark deal in 2015, which led to the lifting of international curbs against the country at the beginning of last year.

Highlighting a preliminary agreement signed between SOCAR and NIOC in 2015, Abdullayev said there is plenty of scope for bilateral collaboration in the energy sector.

NIOC holds a10% share in Shah Deniz Gas Field, the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan. Moreover, it owns a10% stake in the South Caucasus Pipeline that is a natural gas pipeline from Shah Deniz in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea to Turkey. As one of the oldest oil-producing areas in the world, the Caspian region is an increasingly important source of global energy production.

It holds an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil and more than 8 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in proven and probable reserves.

For the first time in more than a century, Iran discovered oil in its Caspian Sea waters in 2012, according to state media. The deposit, found at a depth of 2.5 kilometers, was estimated to contain 10 billion barrels of crude, or roughly 7% of Iran’s known reserves.

Despite making significant headways in exploiting oil and gas resources in the south, energy development in Iran’s northern regions have been unimpressive in the past several years.

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