Reuters: Russia said its gas firm Gazprom , which once withdrew from Iran’s energy sector due to tightening international sanctions on the country, might take part in developing an Iranian oil field, state television reported on Monday.
TEHRAN, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Russia said its gas firm Gazprom , which once withdrew from Iran’s energy sector due to tightening international sanctions on the country, might take part in developing an Iranian oil field, state television reported on Monday.
“We have reached an agreement with the Iranian oil minister to clear within the next month whether or not Gazprom will take part in developing Azar field,” Russia’s Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told a news conference in Bushehr.
Iranian officials announced in August that Gazprom had been excluded from the project after it missed several ultimatums.
The Russian energy giant had not signed a contract to develop the on-shore field on the border with Iraq, but Iranian media reported in March 2010 that it was about to do so.
The move is likely to anger the United States which has led efforts to isolate Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.
Iran, the world’s fifth largest oil producer, has been hit by international sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment which the West suspects is aimed at making nuclear bombs. Tehran denies this.
Many foreign companies have been forced to pull out from the Islamic state’s energy sector due to the fear of sanctions.
Iranian officials usually downplay the impact of these sanctions, saying they have had no or little impact on the country’s economy.
“The imposed sanctions on Iranian nation have increased our power in the region … We will strongly continue our work in the nuclear field and will not pay any attention to the sanction,” Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) told reporters in the city of Bushehr.
The event was held to mark the Islamic state’s first nuclear power plant, built by Russia, joining the national grid.
Bushehr nuclear power plant is the first of a network of nuclear power stations Iran says it is planning to build.
The plant was begun by German electronics giant Siemens in the 1970s but the project was halted by Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979. Russia later completed the plant and will supply its fuel. (Writing by Ramin Mostafavi)