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EghtesadOnline: National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) is in talks with Argentinean company Pluspetrol, a leading private exploration and production enterprise in Latin America, to develop and increase the recovery rate of oilfields in the southern province of Khuzestan, the NISOC managing director said.

“As soon as negotiations come to fruition, a cooperation agreement based on the Iran Petroleum Contract, new framework for oil and gas contracts, will be signed," Bijan Alipour was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

According to Alipour, this is the first time NISOC is in talks with an Argentinean firm to develop Iranian oilfields. Over the past decade, the most important joint project of NISOC and an oil firm from Latin America was the discovery of new hydrocarbon reserves like Taftan in oil blocks in the Persian Gulf with the help of Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras.

Pointing to the names of the international energy companies that have been qualified to bid for new oil and gas projects, the official noted that besides Total, Shell, Eni and Gazprom as well as Asian companies like CNPC, Inpex, KOGAS and Petronas, the list includes Pluspetrol, Wintershall of Germany and Norway's DNO which have little or no history in Iran's market, Financial Tribune reported.

Bautista Vermal, Pluspetrol's business development manager, noted, "Iran's untapped hydrocarbon market is lucrative enough to appeal to lots of international companies."

According to the official, it was predictable that the Iran Petroleum Contract would receive a warm welcome by oil majors as they can take advantage of unique investment opportunities.

"Our company is interested in getting involved in Iran's downstream and upstream oil and gas projects," he said.

Evaluating IPC as an attractive framework for oil and gas contracts, the official noted that the model can pave the way for building close trade ties with Iranian companies and the transfer of technology to Iran.

Pluspetrol S.A. is active in the exploration/production of oil and gas in Argentina, Peru and Bolivia as well as Africa.

   ----- International Consortium

NISOC has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Pergas Consortium, a group of international oil and gas companies, to study two oilfields in Khuzestan.

"Other companies and energy groups, namely Schlumberger are studying the oilfields in parallel with Pergas and each field will be awarded to the consortium based on procedures and criteria determined by the National Iranian Oil Company," NISOC said in a statement.

NISOC is assigned to develop four oilfields in Khuzestan, namely Shadegan, Rag Sefid, Karanj and Parsi with a total of nine reservoirs, based on a special model of contracts.

NISOC Iran oil Iran Oilfields Iran-Argentina cooperation Pluspetrol