Iran inks initial agreement with European firm to develop Esfandiar oil field
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 19
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran has signed a confidentiality agreement with a Norwegian-Austrian company for developing Esfandiar oil field, Saeed Hafezi, managing director of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) said.
The negotiations on the issue are still underway, Hafezi said, adding the required information about the field's development plan has been exchanged.
The company has submitted the Master Development Plan (MDP), Hafezi said, Iran's Fars news agency reported Sept. 19.
Esfandiar offshore oilfield discovered in 1966 is estimated to contain 532 million barrels of crude oil. Iran shares the field with Saudi Arabia.
"We are waiting for unveiling new model of Iran's oil contracts - named Iran Petroleum Contract or the IPC to start the cooperation with the company."
He did not unveiled further information about the European company.
The IPC will be a modification of the traditional buy-back risk service contracts and has been specifically designed to increase the attractiveness of Iranian oil projects for foreign investors.
Iran plans to unveil the new contracts during a conference which is scheduled to be held in Tehran in early November.
Hafezi further said that Iran has started initial talks with Total, Eni and Saipem oil companies for developing Iran's offshore oil fields.
He underlined that Iran will provide the companies with its fields' information only once a confidentiality agreement is signed.
The Iranian official further said that the Islamic Republic has not held any talk with the US companies so far.
Hafezi added that six or seven offshore fields have been nominated for introducing to the foreign companies during a conference in London which would be held two months after Tehran conference.
He also rejected reports about negotiating with North Korea for developing Mahshahr oil field.
Iran has previously announced that its new contracts will be more attractive for foreign investors.
Foreign oil firms are in intense talks to return to the Iranian market once sanctions on the country are lifted, Mehdi Hosseini, head of Iran Oil Ministry's Contracts Revision Committee, said in July.
Intense talks are being held with delegations from European and Asian countries, so that they can return to the Iranian market promptly after the sanctions are lifted, he added.
Tens of projects in the upstream sector of the oil industry have been defined within the framework of the new model of contracts, he said, adding the value of these contracts may exceed $100 billion.