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Iran proposes Caspian projects to Russia

Tehran, June 8, IRNA-Iran has proposed to delegate oil and gas exploration and development operations over its possible Caspian Sea reserves to Russian corporations, it was reported in Tehran on Wednesday.

Deputy Petroleum Minister for International Affairs Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said that he had put forth the proposal in his recent Moscow visit.

According to the proposal, he noted, Iran will be ready to commission the exploration and development projects of possible reserves in the Caspian Sea to Russian companies as well as other majors upon the agreement of neighboring states which will be carried out through the buy-back scheme.

"If the operations lead to the discovery of a commercial project, the companies will be authorized to return the capital they have invested in that project together with the interest determined in the contract by selling the products of the fields," the Persian-language newspaper `Jahan-e San'at' quoted Nejad-Hosseinian as saying.

The official further said Russian companies are to announce readiness to effect in a month.

Nejad-Hosseinian said some Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves are located in areas which are disputed by Iran and other littoral countries.

He said Iran has proposed to determine the share of each country from the disputed reserves after the legal regime of the sea is finalized.

Iran will look for a mechanism so that the companies would be able to operate over Caspian projects even if the issue of the legal regime of the sea remains unresolved, he added.

Nejad-Hosseinian further said if Iran's proposal is implemented, the operations at Caspian reserves will be pursued regardless of the issues pertaining to the legal regime of the sea.

"We will definitely invite international corporations to implement such projects. Russian companies will also have a high chance [toward this project] thanks to their capabilities in Caspian Sea operations," Nejad-Hosseinian said.

... Payvand News - 6/8/05 ... --

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