Iran oil deal

European majors, including Royal Dutch/Shell, may join a USD 2 billion Japan-led project to develop Iran’s Azadegan oilfield, a Japanese official has said. Azadegan is estimated to have reserves of 26 billion barrels and is the world’s second-biggest oilfield to have been discovered since the 1980s, Trade Ministry official Tetsuhiro Hosono said. A Japanese consortium led by INPEX Corp. has sealed a deal in Iran to develop the oilfield, located near the border with Iraq, after nearly four years of negotiations. INPEX had been in close contact with the government-affiliated Japan Petroleum Exploration Company (JAPEX), trading house Tomen Corp., also a member of the Japanese consortium, and Shell. Hosono said European majors may participate in the project and that Shell was considering doing so. A Shell spokesman in London declined to comment. INPEX will have a 75% interest and Iran a 25% in the development of the field. JAPEX and Tomen may invest in the project later, an INPEX spokesman said.

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