The Islamic Republic of Iran signed a contract worth $1.5 billion with a consortium of local firms on Monday to develop the third phase of the south-western Darkhovin oil field.
Iranian energy officials said last year they were in talks with Italy's Eni on developing the phase but the Italian firm told U.S. authorities in April 2010 it was handing the operation of Darkhovin to local partners to avoid U.S. sanctions.
"The contract to develop the third phase of Darkhovin with the aim of producing 71,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) was signed with local firms," Oil Ministry Website reported.
The field, located in the oil-rich Khuzestan province, contains an in-place reserve estimated at 5 billion barrels, of which 1.28 billion are recoverable and valued at $95 billion.
Eni signed a $550 million deal with Iran's state oil company in 2001 to develop the field. It brought the first phase on line in 2005 and was also active in the second phase.
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