Russian companies will participate in the development of seven oil fields in Iran, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has announced.
The maximum capacities of the Iranian companies will also be employed in the development of these fields, in southern and northwestern Iran, Mohsen Khojastehpour added.
Over the past two years, Iranian officials have time and again made optimistic statements about widening energy cooperation with Russia, but so far, there is no concrete evidence of any substantial contributions by Russia.
Last year, Ahmad Asadzadeh, the Deputy Minister of International Affairs and Trading at Iran’s Oil Ministry, expressed hope that the comprehensive plan of Iran’s cooperation with Russia’s Gazprom regarding the development of six oil fields and two gas fields would be finalized in a few months.
While Iran proudly announced the signing of the "largest oil and gas agreements in the country's history worth $40 billion," Russia has not converted any of these memoranda of understanding (MoU) into contracts.
About a decade ago, Iran also signed dozens of oil and gas MoUs with various Russian companies, none of which were executed.
IRNA, the Iranian state news agency, also reported last month that the country’s Oil Minister Javad Owji visited Moscow to hold talks with Russian officials about turning MoUs into contracts. He claimed that Tehran and Moscow can employ their joint capabilities to neutralize sanctions against both countries.
Despite Tehran’s call on Moscow to help develop its energy fields, Russia itself has been facing technical challenges since several western companies pulled out of joint energy projects due to the sanctions slapped on Moscow over the Ukraine war.