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Japan's Inpex share in Iran's Azadegan oil field drops to 10%

Tokyo, Oct 8, IRNA-Inpex Holdings Inc. can someday regain its stake it gave to National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in developing the huge Azadegan oil field, Managing director of Petroleum Engineering & Development Co., Mehdi Bazargan said on Saturday.

Inpex said it agreed in principle with NIOC to cut its concession in the $2 billion project to 10 percent from 75 percent.

The Kyodo news agency quoted Bazargan as saying, "If, in the future, Inpex solves its domestic problems, it is possible in the event of an agreement for Inpex to get back its shares or parts of its shares."

He said Iran has completed Inpex's requirements, including removal of land mines left over from the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, but "Inpex has not been able to solve its problem with financial institutions, etc., in Japan."

In February 2004, Iran and Japan's Inpex Corp. signed a two billion-dollar agreement for development of Azadegan, the Islamic republic's largest onshore oil field which is estimated to have reserves of 26 billion barrels of crude.

Petroleum Engineering & Development was set up in 1994 to manage and supervise major oil and gas projects at National Iranian Oil, according to Petroleum Engineering & Development's Web site.

Kyodo added that Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh has said it would be possible for Inpex to regain the 75 percent concession depending on future negotiations.

Inpex director Katsujiro Kida said in Tokyo on Friday the company would transfer the stake to National Iranian Oil, and as a result the status of project operator would move to the Iranian side, while Inpex would become a partner.

... Payvand News - 10/9/06 ... --

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