Gazprom and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed a memorandum of understanding in Moscow for hydrocarbon exploration and production within Iran, the Russian gas giant said.
Gazprom, which says it holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, with a 17 per cent share in global reserves and 72 per cent in Russian reserves, said the two entities will “will examine the avenues for cooperation in the field of hydrocarbon prospecting, exploration and production within Iran.”
Iran has been working hard to develop its oil and gas infrastructure, putting in place new draft laws for international contracts as it looks to attract foreign investment since sanctions were lifted early 2016.
Nearly a decade of embargoes left the country’s infrastructure across sectors in dire need of repairs and modernisation and lacked new development due to restricted access to global technology, expertise and investments.
Late last year, major oil and gas companies began signing agreements with Iran for investment and development in the Persian oil and gas sector, including Total and Shell.
Iranian officials said early February they would start giving tenders for energy contracts to international firms in coming weeks.
The Gazprom agreement took place as the Russian and Iranian presidents met in Moscow to explore bilateral trade and investments.
The two countries have had close diplomatic ties, even during sanctions, and have been on the same side of fighting the war in Syria.