Tehran signed a $10bn contract to finance and develop the Kish gas field on 6 February, state-run energy news agency, Shana reports.   

The consortium is led by Bank Mellat which undertook 40 per cent of the investment in the project.

“It is for the first time that an all-Iranian consortium takes the responsibility of carrying out such a big project…” says, Seyfollah Jashnsaz, managing director at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

Originally intended as a joint venture with international firms, the development has been subject to lengthy delays due to financing problems.

In May 2009, Iran said that if talks with an international partner fail, domestic contractors will carry out the development plan.

NIOC forecasts production of 3.5bn cf/d from the field. About 75 per cent of the field’s 45 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves are recoverable.

Production is expected to reach 1bn cubic feet a day (cf/d) by 2011 evenutally rising to 3bn cf/d.