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Iran awards petroleum contracts to Russian firms: Report

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)
A report shows Iran has awarded contracts to Russian firms for works in Iranian oil and gas projects.

Iran has awarded contracts to Russian companies for involvement in development works in its oil and gas fields, says a report by semi-official Tasnim news agency.

The Thursday report by Tasnim said that Oil Minister Javad Owji had finalized several contracts with Russian companies during his ongoing trip to Moscow.

The report said the contracts will allow Russian firms to engage in Iranian oil and gas projects through offering investment or technology or to have contractors involved in the projects.

It said that CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Khojasteh Mehr had been in Moscow for final talks on the contracts several days before Owji travelled to Russia to award the deals.

However, Tasnim’s report said that Owji had signed other agreements in Russia which need to be finalized between the two countries before they go into effect.

The deals came as Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi was in Russia on Wednesday to hold high-level talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Raeisi’s government has indicated since taking office in August that it is intent on expanding energy ties with Iran’s neighbors, especially with Russia as a global petroleum powerhouse.

Owji himself posted a tweet on Thursday saying that he had held “numerous intensive meetings” with senior officials in Russia, adding that the two sides had signed “important documents” while adopting major decisions for their future cooperation.

Owji later told the state TV that Iran had reached agreements with a number of Russian companies on their participation in the development of oil and gas fields as well as in construction of oil refineries in Iran.

However, the minister did not elaborate whether contracts had been awarded allowing Russian companies to immediately start works in the Iranian projects.

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