TEHRAN, October 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Iran refuses from cooperation with Russia’s Gazprom Neft Company in development of the Azar oil field, Head of the National Iranian Oil Company Ahmad Ghalebani told the Fars news agency on Sunday.
“We have come to the final decision to stop cooperation with that company at the Azar field and to have an agreement on its development with an Iranian contractor,” he said. “Unfortunately, the Russian company dragged out its obligations despite several warnings from the National Iranian Oil Company, which were not heard.”
The Azar oil field was opened in 2005. According to Russia’s LUKOIL, Azar contains two billion barrels of oil. In November of 2009, Gazprom Neft and the National Iranian Oil Company signed a memorandum on mutual understanding on the field as well as on the Shangule field.
In late August of the current year, Iran announced suspension of Gazprom Neft’s participation in development of Azar, which was caused by “protracted implementation of the project,” as Iranian sources said then. However, on September 12, Russia’s Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko told a news conference following launch of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant that he had agreed with Iran’s Minister of Oil Rostam Ghasemi to make a final decision on the matter within a month.
“We should offer solutions to provide further work of the Russian company at that field,” he said.