Iran cannot trust Gazprom in developing Changooleh oilfield
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 12
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Russian oil giant Gazprom has offered a proposal to Iran for developing its Changooleh oilfield, but Iranian officials say they cannot trust Gazprom due to its previous bad performance.
Gazprom has made an unofficial proposal to the National Iranian Oil Company, while Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangane says the Russian company should put forward its request officially, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on May 12.
Gazprom had made a similar proposal for developing Iran's Azar oilfield, but for a couple of years they wasted time and eventually signed a deal with Iraq to develop its Badra oilfield.
Therefore, Iranian oil officials say they will not provide Gazprom with data about the situation of the Changooleh oilfield unless the Russian company makes a formal request for investing in the project.
In February, Reuters reported that Gazprom plans to start commercial oil production in the spring at its Badra oilfield in Iraq and hopes for an average output of 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year.
However, the managing director of Iran's Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), Abdolreza Haji Hosseinnejad, said as the Russian company received lots of data from Iran about the Azar oilfield, it did not finalize its deal with Iran to develop the field that is associated with Iraq's Badra.
Azar oilfield spans an overall area of 482 square kilometers in the southeast town ofMehran in the western Iranian province of Ilam.
In October 2011, Iran's Oil Ministry inked a $1.9-billion contract with a consortium of domestic companies for the development of the Azar oil field.
Before assigning the project to the domestic consortium, Iran was negotiating the development of Azar oilfield with Russia's Gazprom Company. However, Gazprom was dropped from the project due the company's failure to meet its commitments.
Iran has 15 joint oilfields with its Arab neighbors. The joint oil fields' production accounts for less than 10 percent of Iran's current total oil output.
Iran currently produces about 252,000 barrels of oil at its joint oil fields with neighboring counties.
Edited by C.N.