Iran to increase oil and gas exploration activities in joint oilfields
Azerbaijan , Baku, March 16 / Trend, A.Yusifzade /
Iran will increase oil and gas exploration activities in joint oilfields of Khorasan province, near the Iraqi border and in Persian Gulf next year (starting March 21, 2011), PANA reported quoting Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Ghalebani as saying.
Iranian and Iraqi oil officials have reached an agreement to develop their joint oilfields on border areas to increase their crude output.
"The two neighboring states have signed an agreement for the development of joint oilfields," Mehr news agency reported.
Iran and Iraq will set up joint expert committees to finalize technical and financial details of the agreement to develop the joint oilfields.
According to the report, Iran and neighboring Iraq have 23 joint oilfields on border regions.
Earlier, Iran's deputy Oil Minister Alireza Zeighami said that the two neighbors had reached an agreement on preparing comprehensive plans for the development of five joint oilfields.
Iran and Iraq are members of the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) which supplies about 40 percent of the world's oil.
In November, Iran unveiled plans to develop its joint oil and gas fields with neighboring countries even without foreign investment.
"We will not sit idly in protracted negotiations with foreign companies," said Iranian deputy Oil Minister Mohsen Khojastehmehr.
Khojastehmehr said Iran has finalized a plan for the speedy development of the joint oil and gas fields, adding that Iran will start drilling at Azar oil field with a proven 2 billion barrels of oil reserves near the Iraqi border.
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Director of Exploration Mahmoud Mohaddes said that Iran plans to explore new reserves of 500 million barrels of oil and 5 trillion cubic feet of gas per year in a five year plan (2011-2016).
He further pointed out that Iran has discovered 19 new oilfields and eight new gas reserves during its Fourth Five Year Development Plan (2005-2010).
NIOC's managing director Mahmoud Zirkachianzade said earlier that the company plans to develop 18 oil and gas fields in Iran's Persian Gulf territorial waters.