Iran Plans First For­eign Oil Pact Since U.S. Pullout of JCPOA

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DUBAI (Bloomberg) -- Iran plans to sign a $1.16 bil­lion agree­ment with the U.K.’s Per­gas Re­sources In­ter­na­tional Ltd. to work on a south­ern oil field, mark­ing the Per­sian Gulf na­tion’s first en­ergy ven­ture with a for­eign com­pany since U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ripped up the Iran nu­clear deal.

Lon­don-based Per­gas and state-run National Ira­nian South Oil Co. will sign a “heads of agree­ment” to de­velop the Karanj oil field in Khuzes­tan province, the National Ira­nian Oil Co. said. A cer­e­mony was planned in Tehran on Wed­nes­day evening, with Oil Min­is­ter Bi­jan Nam­dar Zan­ganeh sched­uled to at­tend, it said. Per­gas pro­vides oil and pro­cure­ment ser­vices in the oil and gas in­dus­tries.

Fi­nanc­ing will not be com­ing from any U.S. com­pany or any U.S. af­fil­i­ated com­pany or any com­pany that is in­volved in the U.S., said Clint El­gar, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Per­gas. The pro­posed agree­ment is for 10 years, he said. Per­gas cur­rently has 10 projects in the Mid­dle East, with three in Iran, he said.

Trump last week pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nu­clear ac­cord that had eased sanc­tions on the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic na­tion in ex­change for curbs on its nu­clear pro­gram. Com­pa­nies with ties to the U.S. that are do­ing busi­ness in Iran have 180 days to get out of oil deals with the Mid­dle East pro­ducer or face sanc­tions.

Karanj is pro­duc­ing 127,000 barrels of oil a day, and Iran plans to use gas in­jec­tion to boost that to 200,000 barrels a day over 10 years, the NIOC said. The field was dis­cov­ered in 1963 and pro­duc­tion be­gan the fol­low­ing year, it said.

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