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Thursday, November 23, 2006

China deal for Iran oilfield being finalised-report

LONDON, November 23 (IranMania) - A deal for China's Sinopec to develop Iran's Yadavaran field is being finalised for signing, the managing director of state-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) was quoted as saying, Reuters reported.

Sinopec Group, the state-owned parent of listed Sinopec Corp. , agreed in October 2004 to take the lead in developing the Yadavaran oilfield and to buy 10 mln tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year for 25 years.

But completion of the deal, like other Iranian energy contracts with foreign firms, has been subject to protracted negotiations and several delays.

"All elements of the contract have been finalised and it is in the final process for signing by Sinopec," Gholamhossein Nozari, managing director of NIOC, was quoted by the Oil Ministry's Web site SHANA as saying.

SHANA said the managing director of Sinopec had been invited to Iran to sign the contract.

In September, an Iranian official had said talks between Iran and Sinopec would be completed within two months.

Disagreements over pricing for the deal, which could be worth as much as $100 bln, were behind a previous delay, an industry source said earlier this year.

Yadavaran has estimated reserves of about 3 bln barrels and is expected to produce 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), roughly the same volume of crude that China now imports from Iran, the world's fourth largest oil exporter.

If China, the world's second biggest oil consumer, does sign a deal, it could draw fire from the United States.

Washington has already penalised Chinese firms for working in Iran, which it accuses of seeking nuclear arms and funding anti-Israeli militia. Tehran denies the charges.
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