Giant Azadegan project proves Iran self-reliant
Iran on Tuesday announced a megaproject to develop its largest oilfield with a $7 billion investment package, financed by a group of domestic banks and holdings as well as the National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI).
“The integrated development plan”, the first one in the history of Iran’s oil industry, aims to triple daily crude output at the joint Azadegan Oilfield from 190,000 barrels per day to 570,000 bpd.
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed a memorandum of understanding with the financers of the project and oil companies in a ceremony on Tuesday attended by President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi.
Speaking at the ceremony, Raeisi hailed the plan as an “example of mobilizing internal capacity,” saying that it would boost confidence among private investors and people to get involved in such large-scale projects.
Oil Minister Javad Owji told at the same event that Iran’s oil industry would need at least an investment of $160 billion in the next eight years.
The oilfield, which is shared with neighboring Iraq, is located in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. It stretches in an area of 1,500 square kilometers and its in-situ oil reserves is estimated at 32 billion barrels.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Oil Minister Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr said major banks and oil exploration and production companies would be main shareholders but part of the project’s shares would be offered to the public.
Khojasteh-Mehr, who is also the NIOC CEO, predicted that the plan would go operational within two years and hit its expected return on investment target.