EghtesadOnline: State oil company, NIOC, is set to hold a briefing this week on a long-anticipated tender for Azadegan Oilfield, the first major crude oil reservoir to be developed within the framework of Tehran's new oil contracts.
“We will hold a meeting in Tehran on Thursday with foreign companies that have expressed the eagerness to take part in a tender for development rights of Azadegan Oilfield,” Ali Kardor, the National Iranian Oil Company’s managing director, was quoted as saying by ISNA on Monday.
Representatives of foreign companies, who will likely include top brass from France's Total and Royal Dutch Shell, will consequently travel to the southwestern province of Khuzestan to visit the oilfield, Kardor added.
"Holding an oil tender and selecting the winner are a time-consuming process," Kardor said, adding that the tender could take place six months from now.
According to Financial Tribune, the official told The Japan Times last week that Inpex Corporation may participate in the tender to develop Azadegan Oilfield and form a consortium with other foreign oil firms to that end.
“Inpex replied to our invitation letter for the international bid; then told us they liked to be our partner in developing Azadegan,” he said.
Inpex, Japan’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company, signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct studies for Azadegan in June 2016.
The Japanese company has confirmed receiving the invitation letter from NIOC, but said a final decision will be made after it finishes evaluating the condition of the international bid and also the international situation.
According to the NIOC chief, the number of foreign firms participating in the Azadegan tender will exceed 10.
Shell, Total and Malaysia's state oil and gas company, Petronas, have been touted as potential candidates to develop the field.
NIOC has clarified that it would welcome the formation of an international consortium of British, Japanese and French firms to develop Azadegan.
Azadegan, which is divided into northern and southern sections, has about 33 billion barrels of oil in place, of which 6 billion barrels are recoverable. It is the biggest oilfield discovered in Iran over three decades.
Iran has envisaged two major development phases for South Azadegan: Its production capacity is expected to reach 320,000 barrels a day in the first phase, while the target for the second phase is contingent on output levels in the first phase of development.