Iran, China sign oilfield development deal

TEHRAN, Jan. 14 -- Iran and China signed a 1.76 billion U.S. dollars deal here on Wednesday for the initial development of Iran's North Azadegan oil field, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The deal was signed between China National Petroleum Corporation(CNPC) and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in the presence of Iranian oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari and Chinese ambassador Xie Xiaoyan, IRNA said.

The North Azadegan oil field which located in Iran's western province of Khuzestan has an estimated reserve of six billion barrels of oil and can produce 75,000 barrels per day for 25 years, Nozari was quoted as saying.

Under the deal, CNPC is committed to developing the oil field in two phases, IRNA said.

Oil output of the North Azadegan oil field will reach 150,000 barrels per day when both the two phases of the project are finished, Nozari added.

According to IRNA, the deal is in the form of buy-back terms, based on which CNPC hands over the operation of the field to NIOC after development and receives payment from oil production for a few years to cover its investment.

The period for the development and reimbursement for the first and the second phase of the field would be about 12 and 17 years, Nozari said.


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