July 13, 2008

Russian Gas Giant Signs Memorandum With Iranian National Oil Company

Excerpt from report by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti

Moscow, 13 July: The open-style joint-stock company, Gazprom, and the National Iranian Oil Company have signed a memorandum of mutual understanding following a visit of a delegation of the Russian gas producer led by the chairman of the board, Aleksey Miller, to the Islamic Republic of Iran, RIA-Novosti was informed by the management of Gazprom today.

In order to implement the articles of the memorandum a joint working group will be created.

As part of the visit a meeting took place with Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hoseyn Nowzari and the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Seyfollah Jashnsaz. Those present at the meeting discussed priority steps on the development of cooperation in the oil and gas sector, including issues of the creation of a joint enterprise for the implementation of projects on the exploration and development of gas and oil deposits, and the construction of oil and gas refining and transportation facilities, the statement says.

The parties also agreed to form a joint enterprise on oil and gas projects in Iran, Russia and third countries.

The possibility was discussed of conducting swap operations. Iran also raised the question of the supply of Russian gas to the northern regions of Iran on a long-term basis.

A working meeting took place between Aleksey Miller and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad, during which the parties exchanged opinions about the possibilities of developing a mutually beneficial long-term partnership between Gazprom and Iran.

The parties discussed issues of collaboration in the context of preparations for the next summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. The development of a global gas balance was identified as one of the main tasks of the organization. Note was taken of the necessity for the further development of the forum as a permanently operating international organization, the press-release says.

At the moment Gazprom along with the French company Total and the Malaysian company Petronas are taking part in the second and third phases of the gas-condensate field in South Pars. [Passage omitted: information on Iran's energy deposits]

[An ITAR-TASS report in English at 1828 gmt gave the following account of the memorandum: "The agreement implies Gazprom's participation in the development of the world's largest gas condensate field South Pars, gas swap deals and the construction of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline that will carry Iranian natural gas to South Asia. Gazprom will also take part in the development of the North Azedagan oil field, build an oil refinery in northern Iran and transport crude from the Caspian Sea to the Gulf of Oman." TASS quoted the Iranian news agency Fars in its report.]

Originally published by RIA Novosti news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1624 13 Jul 08.

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