Russia's Gazprom Neft and Austria's OMV signed a memorandum of understanding for working together on Iran’s oil and gas projects.
Preliminary possible spheres of cooperation include analysis, assessment and study of certain oil deposits located in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran in cooperation with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), according to an OMV statement.
OMV started operations in Iran in 2001 as the operator of the Mehr exploration block in the west of the country. It halted operations in 2006 due to sanctions imposed on Iran.
Following sanctions relief granted last year as a result of a nuclear deal Iran reached with world powers, OMV signed a memorandum with the NIOC for projects located in the Zagros area in western Iran and the Fars field in the south, where foreign companies often need a local partner to operate.
In January, OMV signed an agreement with Tehran-based Dana Energy, in which UAE has substantial equity stake, on the development of oil and gas fields.
"The Middle East is one of the priority regions in the long-term development strategy of Gazprom Neft,” said Vadim Yakovlev, first deputy general director of Gazprom Neft. “Our company is developing a large project on the Badra field in Iraq, continuing geological exploration in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of this country and it is studying the possibility of participating in the development of two blocks in Iran. According the extensive experience of OMV in the Middle East and in Iran, joint geological assessment of blocks will be most effective."
“Russia is developing as OMV’s new core area in the upstream business and we can look back on a long-lasting partnership with the country and with Russian oil and gas companies. It fits into our Upstream strategy to link the activities and partnerships in Russia with possible new opportunities for OMV in the Middle East”, said Johann Pleininger, OMV executive coard member responsible for Upstream.