Chinese firms face competition to maintain role in developing Iranian oilfields

Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:41am EST
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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran plans to ask international oil companies to bid for the second phase of development of its Yadavaran and North Azadegan oilfields, a senior official said on Saturday.

That means Chinese firms China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) [CNPET.UL] and Sinopec (0386.HK: Quote), which have played a leading role in developing the fields until now, will have to compete with other firms if they want to maintain that position.

"CNPC would like to extend its North Azadegan contract, but we have announced that ...they should take part in the bidding for a new contract," Gholamreza Manouchehri, deputy head of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

"The Chinese have finally accepted this proposal," Manouchehri said.

He gave no details on the timing of the tender.

President Hassan Rouhani officially launched the first phases of the Yadavaran and North Azadegan fields as well as the North Yaran field in November, as the country ramps up its production after the lifting of sanctions.

Yadavaran will have a production of up to 115,000 bpd in its first phase and North Azadegan's output is 75,000 bpd, the Iranian oil ministry's news agency SHANA said.

The Chinese firms helped Iran develop the fields after Japanese and European companies pulled out of the country due to sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

Iran said in December 2007 that Sinopec would invest around $2 billion to develop the huge Yadavaran oil field.   Continued...

The Sinopec logo is seen at one of its gas stations in Hong Kong April 26, 2010.   REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo