Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh is to visit Japan at the end of February to attend an annual industry seminar, officials said on January 30th.
Zaganeh will be in Japan from February 19th to 21st and will speak at the Symposium on Pacific Energy Cooperation 2001 on February 20th.
Officials from state-run Japan National Oil Corp. (JNOC) indicated that meetings have not yet been scheduled between the Iranian oil minister and Japanese companies involved in negotiations over Iran’s giant Azadegan oil field.
The Japanese firms had been granted priority negotiation rights to discuss the appraisal and development of a portion of the field during Iranian President Mohammed Khatami’s landmark visit to Japan in November.
JNOC and two other Japanese firms -- Indonesia Petroleum Ltd. and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. -- are currently involved in discussions concerning the huge field, which has estimated recoverable reserves of 6 billion barrels.
Azadegan is the world’s largest find since the 5.5 billion barrel Priobye field was discovered in Russia in 1982, and production from the field is expected to reach up to 400,000 b/d after several years of development.
At current Iranian estimates, the field could bring in total revenues of $100 billion.
Tehran also announced on January 29th that it expects to earn about $20 billion from crude exports for the year ending March 20th.
The OPEC producer had expected to earn $11.5 billion from oil exports in its current budget, but Iranian crude has averaged $25.50 a barrel during the first 10 months of the year.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )