Iranian contractor, Global Petro Tech Kish Company, has won the contract to drill and develop the Azar and Band-Karkheh oilfields.

State-owned Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (Pedco) awarded the $230m contract on 20 February, according to state-run news agency Mehr.

The Azar field lies in the western Ilam province and holds about 400 million barrels of oil. The field could yield as much as 50,000-65,000 barrels a day (b/d) for 25 years.

The Band-Karkheh field contains about 2 billion barrels and could produce up to 40,000 b/d for 20 years.

About $1.4 bn will be required for the development of Azar oilfield, which the Ministry of Oil hopes will begin production by March 2011.