TEHRAN, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Russian oil major Gazprom Neft has approached Iranian energy officials on developing the massive onshore Azadegan oil field, executives said.
Gazprom Neft Vice President Boris Zilbermints said his company was in talks with the Iranian government to develop the North Azadegan field with the hopes of drafting a feasibility plan by summer 2009, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said Wednesday.
Zilbermints added his company was interested in obtaining the rights to explore southern portions of the field as well. Azadegan is one of the world's largest fields discovered in the past 30 years, with an estimated total 38.4 billion barrels of oil reserves.
The vice president of Russia's fifth-largest oil firm said in earlier statements that 2009 would be a good year for foreign ventures to invest in the Russian energy sector.
Russia, Iran and Qatar moved in October to form an energy troika as European markets look to diversify their natural resource sector away from Russian supplies.