Norwegian energy company DNO signs an agreement to explore development options for an oil field in western Iran. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo
OSLO, Norway, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Norwegian oil and gas company DNO said Wednesday it signed a memorandum of understanding to examine oil field development in Iran.
DNO signed an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company to examine the possibilities for the development of the western Changuleh oil field. The Norwegian company estimates Changuleh holds more than 2 billion barrels of oil in place.
Bjorn Dale, the company's managing director, said a strong presence in neighboring Iraq meant Iran was a good match for DNO.
"Iran presents an obvious and exciting next step in expanding DNO's footprint in the region," he said in a statement.
The field, near the border with Iraq, was discovered in the late 1990s but never developed. The NIOC said development could take place over two phases, with an initial plan calling for six producing wells.
DNO's deal comes roughly one week after French energy company Total confirmed the signing of a preliminary arrangement to work alongside a Chinese company in producing offshore Iranian gas.
Total signed a head of agreement deal with the NIOC to help develop phase 11 of the South Pars natural gas complex in the Persian Gulf, the largest of its kind in the world. For Total, Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne said it's a return to business that started more than 10 years ago.
The developments come as Iran tries to bring new foreign investors to an energy sector slowly reopening after years of isolation because of Western sanctions. Sanctions pressures have eased since Iran agreed to a multilateral nuclear agreement last year.
Iran is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries working to regain a market share lost to sanctions. Iran reported to OPEC that total production of oil in October was 3.9 million barrels, an increase of 5.6 percent from the previous month.