TEHRAN Nov. 08 (Shana) – Iran has not assured any foreign companies that they will develop oil and gas fields in the country following the long-awaited sanctions removal, a senior Iranian official said.
“Iran has made no promises to give any of its oil and gas fields to any foreign companies for development,” Rokneddin Javadi, managing-director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said.
Javadi said the above underlying indication of Italy’s Eni to develop phase III of Darkhovin oilfield in the country’s southwest.
“Eni has expressed its interest and desire to develop phase III of the oil field,” said the Iranian official.
Eni, along its European and Asian rivals, have signaled interest to join development projects in Iran’s oil and gas industry following the removal of US-led sanctions on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The company, however, has not yet held any technical talks for operating Darkhovin project, said Javadi.
“So far numerous rounds of talks have been held with executives of foreign companies, but no promises have so far been made to any of them for developing the country’s oil and gas fields,” he added.
Phase III of Darkhovin oilfield is being developed for adding 60,000 to 70,000 bpd of crude oil to the field’s output. The project needs $1.3b in investment for its development.
Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi met with Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh in Tehran in August to discuss new opportunities for the Italian energy company in Iran.
The talks were expected to focus on resumption of oil purchase from Iran and Eni’s return to the Darkhovin oilfield.
The Italian oil and gas major halted operations in Darkhovin, mainly in 2010, to avoid US sanctions for business with Iran. It had signed a $550 million deal to produce 160,000 barrels per day of oil from the field in two phases.
It also had a stake in the development of Doroud oilfield on the Khark Island and Balal in the Persian Gulf.
Eni is reportedly vying for the third phase of the project to add a further 100,000 bpd to output from Darkhovin.