Russian energy companies could invest as much as $50bn in oil and gas exploration in Iran, according to an official in the Russian presidency.
Russian energy companies Rosneft, Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Zarubezhneft and Tatneft are “systemically working on development of fields in Iran,” Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying in a media report.
The official’s comments come after Zarubezhneft became the second foreign company after France’s Total to sign the new Iran Petroleum Contract devised by Tehran to attract international oil and gas companies back to its upstream sector.
Zarubezhneft announced an investment of $740m to develop two oil fields in western Iran – Aban and West Paydar – with plans to boost production to 105 million barrels over 10 years.
Last year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the company was willing to sign up for several projects in Iran and invest around $6bn in their development.
In February, Zarubezhneft signed a deal with local IDRO Oil to present a joint bid for a third field, Susangerd, in southwestern Iran.
During a visit to Tehran by Russian President Vladimir Putin last November, the two countries signed six preliminary agreements on oil and gas projects that would see up to $30bn in Russian investments flow into the Islamic Republic’s energy sector.
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