Iran, Malaysia in Deal to Develop 2 Gas Fields

A785567432.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency) Iran and Malaysia have signed an agreement worth USD16 billion to develop two Iranian gas fields.

Iran’s Pars Oil and Gas Co. and Malaysia’s SKS Ventures, owned by Malaysian billionaire Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukary, are to develop the Golshan and Ferdows gas fields in southern Iran in the next five-and-a-half years.

Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said yesterday the deal was a vindication of his country’s efforts to counter pressures to isolate his country.

Nozari said, “The contract was finalized following Iran’s approach towards Asia and taking into consideration the companies that are keen to work in Iran.”

The contract was signed weeks after China’s biggest oil refiner, Sinopec, and Iran signed a $2 billion agreement on developing the Yadavaran oil field.

The move came despite American calls for sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.

Nozari said an economic boom in southeastern Asia has sharply increased its need for imported oil and gas and that the contract with Malaysia must be seen in that light.

The second leg of the contract is worth $10bn and is earmarked for the production of liquefied natural gas from two offshore fields in the southern province of Bushehr. It was not clear what the time frame for the LNG project would be.

The Iranian oil and gas sector is in need of domestic and foreign investment to help meet mounting domestic consumption and to preserve its production rates.

While the US government has put pressure on its western allies to halt investments in Iran because of its nuclear program, Iran, which has the world’s second largest oil and gas reserves, has openly pushed ahead with deals with Asian companies.

Malaysia, a largely Muslim country, has been reluctant to bow to US pressure.

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