Iran to finally launch Azadegan tender in March: NIOC
State-owned National Iranian Oil Co, or NIOC has started talks with international oil companies ahead of a new licensing round for Azadegan, one of its prized oil fields, a senior NIOC official said.
The new bid round will be held before the end of the Iranian year on March 20, NIOC managing director and deputy oil minister, Ali Kardor said in a statement released by the oil ministry.
Negotiations between NIOC and domestic and foreign companies are under way with a view to signing new-style oil contracts. This is after technical and commercial committee of oil contracts has prepared the necessary documents for putting Azadegan out to tender, Kardor said.
“The first list of international companies cleared to bid for oil projects has been announced, and given the request of some companies to completing their data, another list would be also drawn up,” Kardor added.
Iran’s oil ministry has qualified 29 international companies to bid for upstream oil and gas development contracts on its list. For South Azadegan, NIOC has signed about five memoranda of understanding with international companies to study the large onshore field with a view to bidding on development contracts.
Bid rounds for the development of West Karoun fields — Yaran and Yadavaran — will be held once Azadegan is tendered, Kardor said.
NATURAL GAS PRICE STALLS FARZAD-B DEVELOPMENT
Kardor also touched on negotiations with India’s ONGC Videsh Limited for the development of the 18.75 Tcf Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf.
“The technical model presented by the Indians is almost finalized, but we have yet to reach agreement on the financial framework because we are at odds over the gas price,” he said.
He added that Farzad field would be developed under an engineering, procurement, construction and financing contract in case talks with India did not reach agreement.
OVL, the overseas arm of Indian state-owned explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp., was prequalified along with 29 other oil companies to bid on the upcoming tenders. It discovered the Farzad-B gas field in 2008, but so far the field has not been developed.
Earlier this month, the company said it was in negotiations with Iran for the field’s development rights and had submitted a development plan. India’s oil ministry had been hopeful in December that OVL could reach an agreement on gas price formula and a master plan for the development before the end of the Iranian year on March 20.
OVL’s $10 billion plan for development of the Farzad-B field includes an accompanying plant to liquefy the gas for transportation in ships. Kardor said Farzad’s gas should feed LNG and petrochemical projects.
OIL PRODUCTION AND CONDENSATE EXPORTS RISE
Iran’s oil production was 3.9 million b/d, while exports were 2.335 million b/d, Kardor said. Oil production is expected to reach 4 million b/d by March, with the addition of new production from the West Karoun area, adding 40,000 b/d, along with 15,000 b/d from the Azar field and 35,000 b/d from the oil layer of the South Pars gas field.
Condensate production now stood at 550,000 b/d, having been at 325,000 b/d, in 2013, he added.
Iran had been storing around 75 million barrels of condensates in vessels on the Persian Gulf, up until the signing of its nuclear agreement early last year.
“After the implementation of the JCPOA [the nuclear deal], 50 million barrels of gas condensate has been sold,” he said. The remaining 25 million barrels is expected to be sold by April, at prices at around $40/b.