Moscow, Tehran continue talks over cooperation on Iranian oil, gas projects

Russia and Iran were continuing to talk Tuesday about the possible participation of Russian companies in oil and gas projects in Iran, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

Russian companies have been informed of opportunities at a number of fields in Iran, Novak said during a meeting by the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission in Moscow.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters Iran hopes “to increase production volumes of oil and gas and we hope Russian companies would take part in this growth.”

There are many companies in Russia that would like to take part in projects in Iran, Novak said, adding that these include Zarubezhneft.

Novak didn’t name fields in Iran under consideration or any other Russian companies that are interested in possible cooperation.

Iran’s oil production has fallen dramatically from an average 3.7 million b/d in 2011 to 2.7 million b/d, according to the latest Platts survey of OPEC’s production for November, as international sanctions over its nuclear program have hampered Tehran’s ability to market its crude and receive payment for its crude oil sales through its banking system.

Salehi, however, reiterated that Iran’s current crude production is at around 4 million barrels/day.

National Iranian Oil Company Managing Director Ahmed Ghalehbani in June said NIOC would like to attract Russian companies to help it develop fields in Iran.

“We are very much interested in conducting talks with Russian companies,” he said in Moscow at the time, adding that production of oil and gas equipment, engineering design and technology are also among spheres of possible cooperation.

Russian companies have attempted to join Iranian projects before. A joint venture between Lukoil and Norway’s Statoil had hoped to develop part of the Anaran block that extends across the Iraqi border. But the two companies wrote off the project because of international sanctions against Iran.

In June 2010, Russia’s Gazprom Neft began talks to enter the Changuleh field and another oil field called Azar, both also located in the Anaran block.

But Iran said last year that it had ended the Russian company’s involvement because Gazprom Neft had not met its obligations.

By Platts


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