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Iran Fires Gazprom from Azar Oil Field due to delays

Source: Fars News Agency

Senior Iranian oil ministry officials announced in Tehran on Sunday that they have fired the Russian gas company, Gazprom, from Azar oil field in Western Iran.

"We eventually came to the conclusion to cut our cooperation with this company in Azar oil field and strike a deal with a domestic contractor," Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Ahmad Qalehbani told FNA on Sunday.

"Unfortunately, the Russian Gazprom company delayed fulfilling its undertakings and the NIOC had given it repeated warnings, which were never heeded (by the other side)," he continued.

The NIOC chief further pointed out that a "consortium of Iranian contractors will pick up work in the field", adding that the Iranian contracting company would soon be named to the media.

In November 2009, Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Gazprom, and the National Iranian Oil Company signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the development of oil fields and to study the development of two other Iranian oilfields, Azar and Changule.

After repeated warnings, Iran gave a last opportunity to Gazprom to fulfill its undertakings in mid September.

Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, who was in Iran in mid September to attend a ceremony to mark the official launch of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, told reporters that the two sides "have concluded an agreement to decide in a month time if Gazprom will take part in the development and exploitation of Azar oil field."

... Payvand News - 10/09/11 ... --

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