News ID: 211690
Published: 0337 GMT March 14, 2018

Zarubezhneft to sign two major oil contracts in Iran, bucking uncertainty

Zarubezhneft to sign two major oil contracts in Iran, bucking uncertainty

A Russian state-owned oil company, Zarubezhneft, is to sign two major contracts with National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) which will see the Russian side exploiting Aban and Western Paydar oilfields in a consortium with Dana Energy, a private Iranian oil services company.

While Zarubezhneft has yet to officially comment on the reports, the signing ceremony is expected to take place in Tehran and the value of the deals is expected to be around $700 million, reported TASS.

Earlier this month, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced that such a deal was imminent.

Aban and Western Paydar deals had been long-anticipated, with the initial memorandums allowing Zarubezhneft's study of the fields signed in 2016. Both projects lie close to Iran's border with Iraq.

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh had expressed confidence that Iran would see further investment commitments in the oil sector prior to the new Iranian year, which begins next week.

It is unclear how Zarubezhneft's investment would be affected by possible snapback of US secondary sanctions. But it is notable that it is a Russian state-owned enterprise is making this move in the uncertain environment.

This is the second major energy deal signed in Iran since the lifting of international sanctions and follows Total's landmark $5 billion deal to develop Iran's South Pars gas field in cooperation with China National Petroleum Company and Iranian firm Petropars. That deal was signed in July 2017.

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