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Gazprom Neft Signs Iran Deal

Gazprom Neft on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to help National Iranian Oil Company develop the Anaran block in Iran.

The company will hold talks on contracts for the Azar and Changuleh fields, which are a part of Anaran, after completing a feasibility study on the project, the company said.

The start of work in Iran “will be an important step in strengthening the company’s position on international markets,” Alexander Dyukov, the unit’s chief executive, said in the statement. Should the talks advance, Gazprom Neft would get a service contract, a company spokeswoman said by phone, declining to be identified because of company policy.

Gazprom Neft plans to double annual crude output to 100 million tons by 2020 even as domestic production has hit a plateau because of aging fields and soaring costs. It aims to get at least 10 percent of its oil from outside Russia by 2020, Deputy CEO Boris Zilbermints said in the August-September issue of the in-house magazine.

Gazprom Neft has also held talks with Iran on the North Azadegan field near Iraq. It has expressed interest in the South Azadegan field, Zilbermints said in December.

The spokeswoman wasn’t immediately able to say whether the company remains interested in the Azadegan fields.

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