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Iran, China Sign A Major Oil Field Development Deal

Press TV - China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has signed a contract with National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for the development of Iran's South Azadegan oilfield.

The Chinese company will buy a 70 percent share of the whole project, according to an agreement signed Sunday in Lausanne, Switzerland between CNPC and NIOC's overseas investment subsidiary, Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO) that covers a 90 percent stake in the project.

The Azadegan oil field is an Iranian oil field. It is one of the NIOC Recent Discoveries and one of the biggest oil fields that has been discovered in the world in the past thirty years. The field is located 80 km (50 miles) west of Ahvaz close to the Iraqi border. The field holds 33.2 billion barrels of oil in place and 5.2 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

CNPC, which won a bid in January to develop the North Azadegan oilfield, now holds a 70 percent share of the project with NICO holding 20 percent, and Inpex of Japan having the remaining 10 percent.

The South Azadegan project is slated to produce 260,000 barrels of crude oil per day, and its development will cost around $2.5 billion.

The field, along the Iraqi border, holds reserves estimated at approximately 42 billion barrels of oil, one of the world's largest finds in the last 30 years.

Iran provides 14 percent of China's demand for oil.

The deal is couched in buy-back terms, in which CNPC will hand over the operation of the field to NIOC after development and will receive payments from the oil production for a few years to cover its investment.

China's investment in Iran's energy sector has increased as some western countries, led by the US, have sanctioned Iran over its peaceful nuclear program.

... Payvand News - 09/28/09 ... --

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