File photo shows offshore Reshadat oil field in southern Iran.
An Iranian Oil Ministry spokesman says Tehran is open to the idea of having Russian firms develop oil and gas fields in the country.
Alireza Nikzad-Rahbar said on Wednesday that in negotiations with the Russians, the Iranian side has indicated that it would be ready to have Russian companies invest in Iran’s hydrocarbon reservoirs.
His remarks came one day after Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow.
“We did not name any specific fields in talks, but we said we would like the Russian oil enterprises to develop our major oil and gas fields,” Nikzad-Rahbar stated.
He said Iran’s Oil Ministry is formulating new legal structures for contracts in a bid to facilitate working with foreign contractors.
“If we reach an agreement, we will award the development of independent fields to the Russians and other foreign contractors,” he said.
After a session of the 10th Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission in Moscow on Tuesday, the two countries agreed that Russia would supply equipment to Iran to operate oil and gas projects.
Salehi said Russian companies would get a chance to develop oil and gas fields in Iran.
Iran holds the world's third-largest proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves.
The country's total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels, with about 140 billion barrels of extractable oil. Moreover, heavy and extra heavy varieties of crude oil account for roughly 70-100 billion barrels of the total reserves.