Iran to award $1.8 billion gas field contract to local company

Arsalan Shahla 5/16/2021

(Bloomberg) — Iran’s Petropars Ltd. will be awarded a $1.78 billion contract by the National Iranian Oil Co. to develop the giant Farzad-B gas field that was previously intended to be tapped by a group of Indian companies.

Petropars will produce 28 million cubic meters of gas a day from the offshore deposit within five years, according to the agreement, the Iranian oil ministry’s official Shana news service reported, with the contract to be signed on Monday. Farzad-B is estimated to hold reserves of around 500 billion cubic meters.

An Indian consortium led by ONGC Videsh Ltd. was engaged in talks with Iran to develop the field but disagreements over investment volume and gas prices delayed progress and negotiations stalled completely after the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.

Prior to those penalties, Iran had intended to jointly develop several major oil and gas projects with foreign energy companies as part of a push to modernize its industry and improve expertise and know-how.

Farzad-B is the latest major energy project awarded to Petropars following the exodus of foreign companies from the Islamic Republic’s oil and gas industry. Last year, it took over the development of an offshore phase of Iran’s South Pars field after its partners Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp. quit the $5 billion project because of sanctions.

Iran is priming its oil fields -- and customer relationships -- so it can increase production and exports as it inches closer to an agreement with the U.S. that could lift sanctions on its economy and revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

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