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EghtesadOnline: Russia's Gazprom Neft plans to present a preliminary plan for developing two Iranian oil and gas fields — Changuleh and Cheshmeh Khosh — in April, while the final proposal is expected to be presented by late July, Gazprom Neft's First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev said.

"We have signed a memorandum of understanding for the fields and the terms have been determined. We are expected to present a preliminary plan in April and the final one is expected to be presented in late July," Yakovlev told reporters on the sidelines of the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, Texas, Sputnik reported.

In December, Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of gas giant Gazprom, signed an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company to conduct studies on the two fields.

Changuleh oilfield is estimated to hold more than 4 billion barrels of heavy crude in place. Iran hopes to start production from the oilfield at a rate of 15,000 barrels per day and boost output to 65,000 bpd under a five-year development plan, Financial Tribune reported.

Iran is also reportedly drawing around 18,000 barrels of oil and 3 million cubic meters of natural gas a day from Cheshmeh Khosh field which was commissioned over 40 years ago.

The announcement comes as Tatneft, Russia's sixth largest oil firm, signed a preliminary agreement earlier in the week to study Shadegan Oilfield in southern oil-rich Khuzestan Province in six months.

Yakovlev added that Gazprom Neft currently seeks the development of only two Iranian oil fields, but it is open to explore other areas of cooperation.

"Only Changuleh and Cheshmeh Khosh for now," Yakovlev said in an interview. "We are ready to consider other options … regarding the development of Iranian oilfields."

  Oil Tenders

Iran is reportedly set to hold the first international tender for its oil and gas projects in late March.

The NIOC has published a list of foreign companies declared as eligible for bidding in tenders. A total of 29 companies entered the list, including Russia’s oil majors Lukoil and Gazprom Neft.

But Iran's top oil officials have said that more Russian companies are poised to qualify as the Oil Ministry is set to issue a second list of certified oil and gas companies for collaboration in Iran's petroleum industry.

Household Russian names, such as Zarubezhneft, Tatneft and Rosneft, were left out of the shortlist at the expense of international oil majors such as France’s Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and China's CNPC and Sinopec.

In related news, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on the sidelines of CERAWeek conference on Tuesday that Moscow is close to finalizing a deal with Tehran on import of 100,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

"We hope to complete the required paperwork in the nearest future," he said when asked when the agreement may be ready.

Iran-Russia cooperation Iran gas Gazprom Iran oil Gazprom Neft