Iran Speeding Up Oil, Gas Deals
EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Oil Company is keen to finalize high-priority oil and gas deals by the end of the current fiscal year in March, including Phase 11 of South Pars Gas Field and a plan to tender the giant South Azadegan Oilfield, NIOC's managing director said on Tuesday.
“The agreement to develop Phase 11 of South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf will be finalized by March," Ali Kardor was quoted as saying by Shana.
NIOC signed a preliminary agreement, worth $4.8 billion, with Total S.A. and China National Petroleum Corporation in November to develop South Pars Phase 11, one of the least-developed phases of the joint field which has been plagued by years of procrastination.
Kardor said that Total and CNPC have conducted the technical studies on the phase and NIOC is close to preparing a final draft of the contract, Financial Tribune reported.
"Ninety percent of the work on drafting the contract with Total and CNPC is complete," he said.
"Improving the rate of recovery is the most important aspect of collaboration with Total and CNPC," Kardor said, noting that gas production from Phase 11 will exceed 50 million cubic meters per day in 20 years.
SP Phase 11 holds around 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas and some 834 million barrels of gas condensates, a type of ultra light crude. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh recently said that Total has pledged its long-term commitment to the South Pars project by using its advanced high-pressure boosters in the project.
Iran is developing the giant South Pars field in 24 phases. It is the world’s largest gas field shared by Iran and Qatar, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
Asked about NIOC's other priorities, Kardor said the South Azadegan Oilfield will be the first to be offered for tender under the new model of contracts – the Iran Petroleum Contract.
"The oilfield tender is scheduled for the near future," he said without elaboration.
Located 80 kilometers west of Ahvaz in Khuzestan Province, Azadegan holds an estimated 33 billion barrels of oil in place.
The Oil Ministry has issued a list of qualified companies to bid for its oil and gas tenders, but the list will be extended, Kardor said.
Tehran has strongly ruled out bias or favoritism, insisting that all foreign companies will compete for the major energy projects on an equal footing.
Early collaboration with several foreign companies, including with France's Total, Russia's Lukoil and Malaysia's state oil company Pertamina had fueled speculation that selected companies are given a head start in the oil/gas projects.
Pointing to the experience of energy giants such as Total S.A., Anglo-Dutch major Royal Dutch Shell and Japan's Inpex, Kardor said NIOC is making efforts to bring together the three majors to benefit from their capability to develop the Azadegan field.