New oil contracts to be signed by year end: Official

IRNA – Deputy Minister of Petroleum said that the condition is ready for signing new oil contracts by the end of this Iranian year (March 20, 2018), with South Pars phase 11, oil layer, and Azadegan field development on priority.

“It is estimated that new oil contracts worth over 15 billion dollars to be signed with international companies by the end of this year,” Ali Kardar told Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

He, also the Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), expressed hope that the South Pars phase 11, oil layer and Azadegan field would enter the stage of singing new contracts.

“The fields are on priority list and the Ministry of Petroleum emphasizes their development, as they are shared fields,” he added.

The official also noted that the tender for Azadegan was going to be held soon with international firms competing for it.

Iran’s neighboring countries have extracted oil and gas in shared fields using multi-national companies’ funds, and gained huge revenues as Iran were struggling with international sanctions, said the official.

Shortage of financial resources in the past years also added to Iran’s inability to develop the fields, he added.

Now, focusing on the shared fields to develop them and offering new oil contracts, Iran is trying to fill the gap, kardar said.

Earlier in May, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh declared that it was probable that the first new oil contract be signed by the end of the current government’s term of office. He also noted that the international companies were called on to put forth their offers for oil field development.

After implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) and the sanctions relief, the international oil giants launched talks to start their activity in Iran’s oil sector, and in some cases they signed memoranda of understanding or Agreements in Principle.

Azadegan field that Iran shares with Iraq, is the former’s largest oil field. The ministry has announced it as the first field for which an international tender would be held.

South Pars phase 11 is another priority plan of the Ministry of Petroleum waiting for the final development agreement to be signed in the coming months.

A $4.8 billion Agreement in Principle was signed on the field last November in the new oil contract form with a consortium consisting of France’s Total, China’s CNPC and the Iranian Petropars.