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Russia’s Zarubezhneft eyes major Iran oilfield

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Zarubezhneft says it is willing to develop the Changuleh oilfield in western Iran.

Russian state-owned oil company Zarubezhneft is willing to develop a major oilfield in western Iran which is projected to come online with $2.2 billion of investment, a news agency says. 

Zarubezhneft Chief Executive Nikolay Brunich has announced his company’s readiness to participate and invest in the development of Changuleh field in Ilam, Mehr said on Monday.

He traveled to the city during a recent visit by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak to Iran and signed a letter of intent with the governor of Ilam, besides discussing construction of an oil refinery.

After visiting Tehran, Novak said Zarubezhneft would take up several projects worth a total of $6 billion in Iran’s oil industry. The company will send a team of experts to Ilam "soon" to examine the field, Mehr reported.

Changuleh is part of the Anaran onshore block linked to the Azar field which Iran shares with Iraq.

In August, executor of the project Ali Abbasi Laraki said Iran planned to develop Changuleh in two phases to produce 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the initial stage before raising output to 50,000 bpd.

The field will be introduced to prospective developers at a Tehran conference which is to be held in less than a month in order to unveil Iran’s new oil contract models.

Russia’s second largest oil producer, Lukoil, seeks to return to the Azar field which it left in 2011 after the US and the Europeans intensified sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Russia has acted quickly to cement ties with Iran after the international nuclear accord with Tehran in July. Novak said Tehran and Moscow have devised a package of projects that are collectively worth $35 billion to $40 billion.

International energy companies are positioning themselves for new opportunities in Iran. Energy officials say the country has identified nearly 50 oil and gas projects worth $185 billion for development.

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