Japan’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company, INPEX Corporation, is showing eagerness in investing for the development of the Azadegan oil field in southwest Iran.
Ali Kardor, Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said several sessions had been held with executives of Japan’s INPEX.
“We advised the Japanese side, who was looking for a foreign operator, to negotiate with high-tech European companies in a bid to create a consortium given that Azadegan is a huge field the development of which demands the new technology provided by foreign companies,” underlined Kardor.
INPEX inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NIOC in January, 2016 to carry out development surveys at Azadegan oilfield.
A spokesperson for Inpex confirmed receipt of the invitation letter from NIOC and said, “It is true that we are mulling how we should deal with Azadegan, though we cannot announce details.”
“A final decision will be made after we finish evaluating the condition of the international bid, and also the international situation.”
Meanwhile, Ali Kardor said the NIOC will soon provide all necessary data about the Azadegan oil field to interested foreign firms.
It will take about six months to gather technical and financial proposals from all applicants and evaluate them, and the contractor will be finalized by early next year, he said.
Kardor said the number of foreign firms participating in the Azadegan tender will exceed 10. In addition to Inpex, Total S.A., Royal Dutch Shell plc, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and China National Petroleum Corp., which have already signed MOUs with NIOC, several other oil giants including Eni and BP have expressed pressing their intent to participate in the tender.
Azadegan is one of the largest oil fields in Middle East, with an approximately 26-billion-barrel deposit of crude oil.