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    Gazprom reaches agreement on crude production in Iran

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    Gazprom has reached a deal with Iranian authorities for its crude producing arm to be involved in oil production in the Islamic Republic, the Russian energy giant said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom has reached a deal with Iranian authorities for its crude producing arm to be involved in oil production in the Islamic Republic, the Russian energy giant said Tuesday.

    "The parties have agreed to jointly develop two or three sites on the South Pars gas field and for Gazprom Neft to participate in a crude-producing project in Iran," Gazprom said.

    A Gazprom delegation Tuesday discussed with Iranian Petroleum Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari "possibilities for developing cooperation between Gazprom and Iranian companies in the oil and gas sphere."

    "Prospecting and development of gas and oil fields, joint operations in transporting, processing and marketing of gas were named as the key areas for interaction," Gazprom said.

    Nozari said agreements will be signed within two months. "Talks will be completed within two months, and we will start signing agreements," he told journalists.

    Iran's proven natural gas reserves total over 28 trillion cubic meters. In 2006, gas production in the republic was 105 billion cu m, with consumption standing at 105.1 billion cu m. Gas accounts for 53% of the country's energy balance, oil 44%, hydropower industry 2% and coal 1%.

    Gazprom has been taking part in developing the South Pars field's second and third stages together with France's TotalElf and Malaysia's Petronas. The facility is operating in design mode to produce and process 20 billion cu m of gas annually.

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