Iran looks home for oil, gas production

Oct. 12, 2011 at 7:15 AM
1 of 4
| License Photo

TEHRAN, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Tehran said it suspended a Chinese gas contract and replaced Russia's Gazprom Neft with a domestic company as energy production in the country slumps.

The Iranian Oil Ministry announced it signed a contract with state-controlled oil companies to develop the Azar oil field within the next five years. Tehran said production there could reach more than 50,000 barrels per day. The field, along Iran's western border, is shared with Iraq.

The move was to replace Russia's Gazprom Neft, which reached a deal with Iran in 2009. Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi was quoted by the Financial Times as saying "foreign companies did not show much interest" in the Azar field.

Meanwhile, directors of the Pars Oil and Gas Co. said they suspended a contract for China National Petroleum Corp. for work in the giant Persian Gulf gas field. Tehran had said Chinese work was conditional on development progress.

Western powers have sanctioned Iran's energy sector as punishment for Tehran's controversial nuclear program. The Financial Times notes that Iranian oil production is on the decline, though Iranian officials challenge those claims.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
American Apparel files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
At least 5 dead in South Carolina's '1,000-year' rain
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz joins race for Speaker of the House
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists