July 14, 2008

Iran, Russia Ink Oil, Gas Accord

Text of report in English by Iranian official government news agency IRNA website

Tehran, 14 July: National Iranian Oil Company and the Russian Gazprom on Sunday [13 July] signed an agreement on development of Iran's oil and gas fields.

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.

The agreement was signed during an official ceremony attended by Oil Minister Gholam-Hoseyn Nowzari and several officials from the Oil Ministry and NIOC.

The accord was inked by the NIOC Managing Director Seyfollah Jashnsaz and the head of Board of Directors of Gazprom Aleksy Miller.

The agreement envisaged to boost recovery rates of Iran's oil fields and Russian help in transferring Caspian Sea crude oil to the Oman Sea.

The cooperation agreement also included possible participation of Gazprom in the planned peace pipeline that would deliver Iranian gas to India and Pakistan.

Cooperation in the development of Iran's North Azadegan oil field, part of the large Azadegan field in southwestern Iran, was also mooted in the agreement.

The South Pars field in the Persian Gulf has around 500 trillion cubic feet (14 trillion cubic metres) of gas, which accounts for about eight per cent of the world gas reserves.

Azadegan is Iran's biggest onshore oil field with an estimated 42 billion barrels of crude oil in place and production started in February by Iranian firms after the Japanese partner Inpex quit the project.

Iran sits on the world's second largest proven oil reserves worldwide and is the number four crude producer and the second in the OPEC.

It also has the second biggest proven global gas reserves after Russia but so far has played only a minor role on the gas export market.

Originally published by Islamic Republic News Agency website, Tehran, in English 0610 14 Jul 08.

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