The deal includes the study and analysis of seismic data, along with the drilling of three wells and is the first contract to start as part of Tehran’s development of 17 separate oil and gas blocks.

NIOC says the agreements have been signed using the modified buy-back formula, which allows energy firms to spread costs which can be later recouped through the sale of products over a 25-year period.

NIOC has signed deals with Italy’s Edison International and Croatia’s INA in March and April respectively, for development of the Moghan 2 and Dayyer blocks respectively (MEED 8:4:08).

A fourth block, Laleh, is poised to be awarded to Iranian Offshore Engineering & Construction and an international energy company by mid-August.