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EghtesadOnline: Ghadir Investment Company, a major Iranian conglomerate, has signed an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company to study four oil and gas fields.

It has six months to study Kish Gas Field in the Persian Gulf as well as Sepehr, Jofeyr and Darkhoveyn oilfields in southern Khuzestan Province.

The agreement was signed in Tehran by the NIOC deputy chief, Gholamreza Manouchehri, and Gholamreza Soleymani, chief executive officer of Ghadir, on Wednesday, Oil Ministry's official news service Shana reported.

Sepehr Oilfield is a reservoir in the West Karoun oil block in Khuzestan. According to estimates, Iran needs to spend between $500 million $600 million to tap into the field's 300 million barrels of proven reserves, according to Financial Tribune.

Jofeyr field is 50 kilometers west of the city of Ahvaz and also contains some gas deposits. Latest NIOC data show the combined output of Jofeyr and Sepehr fields is below 2,000 barrels per day.

Ghadir also aims to study the Darkhovein Oilfield and develop its third production phase. Development of phases 1 and 2 was completed by Italian oil company Eni and NIOC.

Discovered in 1968, Kish gas field is 30 km east of Lavan Island in the Persian Gulf. It holds an estimated 1.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in place and more than 500 million barrels of gas condensate.

Energy major Royal Dutch Shell is also surveying the field. A top oil official said last month the Anglo-Dutch company could win the field's development rights as it is "the only company to have shown interest" in the Kish project.

Tehran has intensified efforts to involve foreign oil and gas majors in its key petroleum industry after years of financial and trade curbs that deprived its economic and energy projects funds and technology. Total, Gazprom, Schlumberger, Pertamina and Petronas are among the oil majors studying Iran's hydrocarbon reservoirs.

--- Domestic Share

But major companies at home insist they too should be part of the new oil and gas development opportunities. The NIOC has approved a dozen companies, including Ghadir, for the new oil and gas projects.

Pasargad Energy Development Company and Tenco, a subsidiary of Khatam-al -Anbiya construction group, have signed deals similar to  Ghadir to study hydrocarbon deposits.

Tehran says major upstream projects will be developed jointly by Iranian and international companies, while smaller fields will be awarded to domestic companies.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said last year that Khatam-al-Anbiya, affiliated to the Islamic Revolution's Guard Corps, was in negotiations to secure the development rights for some oilfields.

Ghadir is the largest investment company listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange, which, through its seven holdings and 140 subsidiaries, operates in various sectors such as oil, gas, petrochemicals, building construction, mines and related industries, transportation, power and energy, financial and commercial activities as well as information technology.

According to company data, Ghadir has $13 billion in investment projects mainly in petrochemical, mining, power generation, information and communications technology and shipping.

Iran oil Iran oil fields Iran gas fields National Iranian Oil Company Ghadir Investment Company