Chinese-Australian consortium to develop 3 Iranian oilfields

TEHRAN, Aug. 15 (MNA) -- A consortium of Chinese and Australian firms has won a contract for the development of three Iranian oilfields.

The development projects of the Kooh-Mand, Boushkan, and Kooh-e-Kaki oilfields in the southern province of Bushehr are valued at around $700-750 million, the Mehr News Agency reported.

The technical and economic proposal of the consortium has been approved by the board of directors of the National Iranian Oil Company.

The contract is expected to be signed by the end of the Iranian calendar month of Shahrivar (September 22) after NIOC has approved the proposed financing companies.

The initial development of the plan will take 39 months, the first phase will take up to 52 months, and the second phase will take 81 months.

The three oil fields are expected to initially produce 9,000 barrels of oil per day but their output is projected to ultimately reach 20,000 bpd.

Iran has the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves at nearly 138 billion barrels or over 10 percent of the world’s total, according to BP’s 2010 statistical review. Iran is also the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter.

In recent years, Beijing has emerged as Iran's main economic partner, filling the gaps in the country's energy sector left by Western firms forced out by international sanctions.

China backed the fourth set of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear ambitions, but Beijing has consistently urged world powers to resolve the crisis diplomatically.

In the first half of 2010, Iran held its place as China’s third biggest supplier of crude with shipments of 9 million tons of oil, putting it behind Saudi Arabia and Angola, according to Chinese customs data.

Washington has been pressuring foreign firms to halt their activities in Iran, but developing Asian economies like China and India are keen on investing in the country's energy sector.

The U.S. Treasury Department has introduced a new set of rules aimed at punishing foreign banks and companies defying new sanctions imposed on Iran. Shortly after the UN Security Council ratified a Washington-drafted sanctions resolution against Iran, the U.S. Congress passed legislation paving the way for new restrictions.

Iranian officials say the Islamic Republic is only pursuing peaceful applications of nuclear technology and argue that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran has the right to have a civilian nuclear program.


News Code 41337

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