Iran General NewsIran in talks with CNPC and ONGC on Caspian

Iran in talks with CNPC and ONGC on Caspian

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ImageReuters: Iran is in talks with the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC) and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to develop oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari told Reuters on Tuesday.

By Luke Pachymuthu and Alex Lawler

ImageVIENNA (Reuters) – Iran is in talks with the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC) and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to develop oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We have an agreement on some projects but it is not finalized yet," Nozari said declining to provide more details.

Iran's oil and gas sector is turning to energy-thirsty Asia for money, expertise and technology to sidestep U.S. sanctions and pressure.

And state-owned Asian energy heavyweights, desperate to lock in long-term future supplies for their fast-growing companies, have increased their role in the world's fourth-largest oil producer.

China's biggest oil refiner and petrochemicals producer, had sealed a deal last December to invest $2 billion in Iran's Yadavaran oilfield.

"You know everything has been finalized and signed, and we have started works," he said.

Iran holds the world's second-largest oil reserves, but the rate of recovery from producing fields is 20-25 percent below the industry average of around 35 percent.

Iran which signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing to store strategic oil in China last year, said that it was looking at setting up similar deals in Africa, as it seeks to position its crude closer to its customers.

"We have defined some countries for the storage of crude…in Africa and Asia," Nozari said.

(Reporting by Luke Pachymuthu and Alex Lawler; editing by William Hardy)

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