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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Russian energy giant Gazprom signs deal to develop major Iran oil fields

NICOSIA — Iran and Russia have signed a energy development deal involving onshore and offshare oil and gas fields.

The National Iranian Oil Co. and Russia's Gazprom have signed an agreement to develop Iran's crude oil and natural gas fields, particularly Azadegan, the largest onshore oil field in the country with estimated reserves of 42 billion barrels, Middle East Newsline reported.

The deal, signed on July 13 in wake of the withdrawal by France's Total, was meant to pave the way for Russia to become a leading foreign contractor in Iran's energy sector.

"Based on the accord, working groups would be formed and a joint company would be set up between the two countries for cooperation in the oil and gas fields," an Iranian statement said.

Also In This Edition

Officials said the agreement envisioned the increase in recovery rates from Iran's oil fields as well as Russian aid to deliver oil from the Caspian Sea to the Sea of Oman. They said Russia could also participate in a gas pipeline from Iran to India.

Iran has also reported the discovery of an oil field in the Khuzestan province near Iraq. Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said the field, located north of Andimeshk, contained an estimated 1.1 billion barrels of oil.

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