Reuters: Iran and an Iranian-Australian consortium with Chinese financing are expected to sign a contract soon on the development of three onshore oil fields, the Oil Ministry website SHANA reported on Monday. TEHRAN, April 5 (Reuters) – Iran and an Iranian-Australian consortium with Chinese financing are expected to sign a contract soon on the development of three onshore oil fields, the Oil Ministry website SHANA reported on Monday.
SHANA, citing a senior official of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), did not give any financial details about the deal.
Analysts say Iran needs funds to help modernise and expand its oil and gas sector, but Western companies in particular are increasingly wary of investing in the major oil producer due to an international dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Bahman Samimi, in charge of the development of heavy oil fields projects at NIOC, said the contract concerned development of the onshore Kouhmond, Kaki, and Boushgan oil fields in southern Iran, SHANA reported.
It said the contract was due to be signed during the Iranian month of Ordibehesht, which begins April 21, and named the consortium as KIPC.
"The KIPC consortium has submitted the master development plan on Kouhmound, Kaki and Boushgan and the plan has been approved by the … board of directors of the National Iranian Oil Company," Samimi said.
The KIPC has introduced a number of companies as financiers, mostly Chinese, SHANA said, adding the contract would be signed after the NIOC approved the proposed financing companies.
Iran has struggled for years to find the cash and the technology to develop its energy sector as sanctions and political pressure have kept foreign firms away. It has increasingly shifted to energy-hungry Asian countries. (Reporting by Hashem Kalantaria and Ramin Mostafavi; writing by Fredrik Dahl, editing by Keiron Henderson)