Iran Economy NewsIran confirms Gazprom not to work on Azar oilfield

Iran confirms Gazprom not to work on Azar oilfield

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Reuters: Iran confirmed on Sunday that Gazprom would not be involved in the development of a major on-shore oil field, accusing the Russian state energy giant of dragging its feet over the project, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

TEHRAN, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Iran confirmed on Sunday that Gazprom would not be involved in the development of a major on-shore oil field, accusing the Russian state energy giant of dragging its feet over the project, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Iran — under international sanctions that have hit foreign investment in its vital energy sector — said last month it had “excluded” Gazprom from the Azar field , but the two sides agreed to delay a final decision for another month.

“Unfortunately, the Russian Gazprom company has failed concerning its commitments to Iran despite the National Iranian Oil Co.’s (NIOC) repeated warnings which have been completely ignored,” said NIOC chief Ahmad Qalebani.

The Russian company had not actually signed a contract to develop the field, on the border with Iraq where it is known as Badrah, but Iranian media have reported since March 2010 that it was about to do so.

Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has said the country has no need for foreign investment in the energy sector and that Iranian companies can do the work and find the finance themselves — an assertion many foreign analysts view with scepticism.

“After consideration of the facts, it was decided that we terminate our cooperation with this company and cede the job to domestic contractors,” Qalebani said about Azar. (Reporting by Hashem Kalantari; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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