Iran seeks joint ventures with foreign firms to develop oilfields

Xinhua— Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Marzieh Shahdaei said foreign companies interested in developing Iran’s oilfields should find an Iranian partner, local media reported Tuesday.

“We are in talks with reputable international firms (for developing oilfields), and the most important issue is that we are trying to have them pick up an Iranian partner and build many of their equipment in Iran,” IRAN Daily quoted Shahdaei as saying on Monday.

Leading international oil and gas companies have submitted the outcome of their studies on the development of Azadegan oilfield in the south of the country, she said.

On Dec. 15, Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran would put its largest oilfield Azadegan out to tender and strike a deal for its development by summer 2018.

Ali Kardor, the chief executive officer of Iran’s state oil company NIOC, said Japan’s INPEX, China’s CNPC, Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total have presented their proposals on Azadegan.

Azadegan is shared with Iraq, and Iran is in a race with its neighbor to develop the reservoir. Iran’s share of the field amounts to some 33 billion barrels of crude.

Dutch Shell has developed the Iraqi stretch of the reservoir, known as Majnoon oil field in the southern city of Basra. Majnoon came into production in 2014.

Iran has split Azadegan into the northern and southern sections to speed up development. The field’s output is around 80,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Iraq is pumping between 220,000 and 230,000 bpd from Majnoon, nearly three times of the Azadegan output.