Iran's local press on Wednesday revealed the names of five major overseas oil corporations that have proposed to develop the giant South Pars gas field after the exclusive rights of Japan over the field were cancelled, IRNA reported from Tehran.
The English-language newspaper 'Tehran Times' reported that France's Total Fina Elf, Malaysia's Petronas, Italy's oil exploration and distribution unit Agip, Norway's Statoil, and the UK's British Petroleum (BP) have made their rival bids for exploration of phases 11 and 12 of the South Pars gas field.
'Tehran Times' quoted the Managing Director of the South Pars Oil and Gas Company (SPOGC) Asadollah Salehi Forouz as saying that the final result of the tender, launched by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), is not yet certain and that NIOC is still working on the proposals.
Phase 11, with estimated production of nine million tons per year, divided in two 4.5-million-tons project, is due to be contracted by the end of the current Iranian calendar year of 1382 (ending March 19, 2004), the daily added.
"Some of the companies have made two bids for the development of both phases since NIOC has offered the two tenders simultaneously," Salehi Forouz said, adding that negotiations with the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) for the development of phase 13 of the gas field are currently underway by SPOGC.
Iran to tender 51 new oil exploration blocks: report
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has defined 51 new exploratory oil blocks in different parts of the country will go on for international tenders in phases, IRNA reported from Tehran on Wednesday quoting the local press.
The English-language newspaper 'Iran News' quoted Mahmoud Mohaddess, director of NIOC exploration department, as saying that the announcement of tender on 16 of the total 51 blocks, chosen on the basis of consumption needs and proximity to oil processing facilities, will be made in about two weeks.
'Iran News' added that the contracts on the 16 blocks, to be done on buyback basis, are 253,000 square kilometers in area.
The daily wrote that Mohaddess did not name all the 16 blocks to go on tender, but, according to previous reports they are: Moghan I and II, Kouh-Dasht, Khorram-Abad, Kermanshah, Bijar, East and West Mokran, Zabol, East Jazmourian, Saravan, Tabas, Garmsar, Saveh, Raz, and Tapeh Marouh.
As per a previous announcement by the NIOC that called for registration of intent, 32 companies, domestic and international, have voiced readiness to submit bids, he said, adding that they are in pre-qualification stage.
In a reversal of past practice and in order to improve the attractiveness of the contracts, the NIOC will be able to sign the exploration, description and development phases of each block as parts of the same contract, said Mohaddess.
He said that based on assessments by the NIOC, the exploration phase of each contract, to include an oil well and seismological examination will cost the contractor around 30 to 40 million dollars.
The authorization, 'Iran News' added, on including the various activities pertaining to a block in one overall contract with the same company was given by the Majlis (the Iranian Parliament) as part of the budget law for the current Iranian fiscal year to March 20, 2004.
It also wrote that expected from the above authorization are blocks in four oil-rich provinces in southern Iran that include Khuzestan, Bushehr, Kohkilouyeh and Ilam along with those in the Persian Gulf.
Mohaddess further said if a contractor manages to come up with a commercially viable field, the NIOC will pay all the expenses involved in exploration and development phases along with a 'remuneration' from the sale of the production in the block whose rate is specified in the contract.
Iran has produced 8.6 billion barrels of oil in the past six years but the amount has been compensated for with the discovery of 11.5 billion barrels of new oil.
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