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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Gazprom Neft eyeing bigger presence in Iranian oil field

RBC, 09.12.2008, Moscow 12:27:38.Gazprom Neft has proposed to the Iranian government that it develop not only the northern but also the southern part of the Azadegan oil field, the Russian oil producer's Deputy CEO for Exploration and Production Boris Zilbermints reported. He elaborated that the company was currently in talks on North Azadegan with its Iranian partners, and that it had already begun drafting a development plan for the oil field in December, looking to complete it in 6-9 months. Moreover, in Gazprom Neft's opinion, the Azadegan project should be viewed as a whole, which would include both its northern and southern parts. The company has already made a corresponding proposal to the Iranian authorities. Meanwhile, Zilbermints has not yet estimated investment necessary for the northern part of the oil field. Azadegan is one of the world's largest oil fields with reserves of around 5.7bn tonnes. Talks are currently underway between Russia's Gazprom Neft and the Iranian license holder for the field NIOC on joint development of Azadegan. Gazprom Neft hopes to secure a stake in the field's project operator. While NIOC will retain its license for Azadegan, Gazprom Neft will have to provide 100 percent of investment in the project. The Russian oil producer estimates North Azadegan's recoverable reserves at around 150m tonnes of oil and maximum annual output at some 5.5m-6.5m tonnes.

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