TEHRAN, (Shana) -- Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says the fate of the country's joint oil and gas fields will be determined under President Rouhani Administration.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, he said: "These fields will either be developed or ceded to a powerful contractor for development."
Zanganeh said: "I am glad that oil production in West Karoon plays reached 160 thousand barrels a day in 2016, while it stands at 305,000 b/d currently, which indicates an increase in production per day of 145 thousand barrels."
He said that the total production from the oil layer of South Pars, South Yaran and Azar oilfield has reached 63,000 b/d for the first time in Iran.
Talks with 20 domestic, foreign firms
He said talks are under way with foreign companies and some domestic companies to sign contracts for the development of oil and gas fields in Iran, adding that the number of these companies is 20, with some prioritized over others.
Zanganeh further said that the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum has prepared a $5b investment package for retaining production level of the country's operating wells, adding that the plan has now gone to the Economic Council for approval, and that close to 20 separate contracts and 20 tenders will be held in order to implement this package.
"Preparations are already under way and the bidding documents are being prepared."
The Minister of Petroleum said that an appropriate arrangement for implementing the package has been carried out, adding that one of the ways to fund this project is to issue currency and riyal-based bonds in the domestic markets.
Zangeneh announced that the return on investment for the package would take about two years, saying that if the first mid-spring or summer contract is to be executed, the results will be promulgated by the calendar years of 1398 and 1399, while part of the cost of the project will also be supplied by the increase in the output of these fields.