Source: Press TV
The Russian Tatneft Group has denied reports it has entered an agreement with Iran's Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDC) to develop the Zagheh heavy crude oil field.
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"Tatneft Group has not entered into any agreements [or] contracts and has not accepted any other undertakings relating to oil and gas projects in Iran," the company said in a statement.
The Tantneft Group is based in Russia's autonomous republic of Tartarstan and is headed by the President of Tartarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.
The government of Tartarstan released a statement on Monday saying Tatneftekhiminvest-Holding, a local scientific center, has only signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran's state oil company for cooperation on development of the field.
The memorandum, the statement added, was signed during Minnikhanov's recent visit to Tehran.
On Sunday, December 18, the official website of Iran's Oil Ministry, SHANA, reported that PEDC and Tatarstan's Tatneft Group have signed a contract for the development of Zagheh heavy oil field in south Iran.
The SHANA report added that the contract was signed in a ceremony attended by Minnikhanov as well as Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi, and managing director of PEDC, Naji Sa'douni, to produce 7,000 barrels per day of heavy crude from the field in the first phase of its development, and 55,000 bpd following the second phase.
Zagheh oil field is located in Bushehr Province about six kilometers from the Persian Gulf.
A total of 18 heavy and extra heavy oil fields have thus far been discovered in Iran, including Ferdowsi oil field in the Persian Gulf, which is one of the country's biggest heavy oil fields with proven reserves of more than 31 billion barrels.
Iran's total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels with about 140 billion extractable barrels. Heavy and extra heavy varieties of crude oil account for about 70 billion barrels of total reserves.
Iran is OPEC's second largest oil producer and the fourth largest crude oil exporter. The country holds the world's third-largest proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves.
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