The Norsk-led team has submitted a development plan to National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), which is expected to give its answer by the end of the Iranian year in March 2006. ‘We are not saying anything about the volumes now, except that it has earlier been said that it could be 100,000 b/d,’ a Norsk spokesperson said.

Norsk Hydro has a 75 per cent share in the exploration licence and Lukoil holds 25 per cent. The Norwegian company says it has carried out extensive testing to supplement its commercial proposals to NIOC. The exploration agreement was made in 2000, but landmine clearing work delayed the discovery.