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Iran signs oil deal with Zarubezhneft

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)
NIOC chief Ali Kardo and Zarubezhneft General Director Sergey I. Kudryashov shake hands after signing a contract to study two Iranian oil fields by the Russian giant oil company.

Iran has signed a basic non-disclosure agreement with Russia’s state-owned energy giant Zarubezhneft over two western oil fields.   

Based on the agreement, the Russian company will study West Paydar and Aban oil fields and will present its proposals to increase the recovery rate of both fields to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

NIOC Managing Director Ali Kardor and Zarubezhneft General Director Sergey I. Kudryashov signed the document in Tehran.

Aban and West Paydar are both among a series of oil fields that Iran shares with Iraq.

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak had said last October that Zarubezhneft will take up several projects worth a total of $6 billion in Iran’s oil industry.

Novak said the Russian oil giant's participation in Iranian oil projects will be in line with a series of agreements that were reached with the country to expand mutual economic ties.

Zarubezhneft had earlier announced that it is willing to develop a major oilfield in western Iran which it said could be brought online with an investment of $2.2 billion.  The company’s officials had announced that the oil field they were targeting was Changuleh in the west.

Zarubezhneft, created during the Soviet period, represents Russian state interests in overseas oil projects. Its biggest project to date is in Vietnam, where it has run the Vietsovpetro joint venture with state firm Petrovietnam since 1981.

The company has been for long considering participating in Iran’s upstream projects. It has been reportedly involved in discussions with officials from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) since 2008 when the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013) was in office.

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