Tehran is being tacked on to a trip of Middle Eastern countries undertaken in July by the Japanese trade minister, Takeo Hiranuma, who is keen to promote a Japanese oil consortium's bid to explore Iran's Azadegan oilfield.
The Japanese consortium includes Japan National Oil, Japan Petroleum Exploration, the Tomen trading company and Indonesian Petroleum, and its is partnered with Royal Dutch/Shell, with whom they are still negotiating over whom will bear the greater portion of the estimated $8 billion investment. They are betting that the Azadegan project could become Japan's largest oilfield development project ever.
Hiranuma's trip to Iran will come at the tail-end of a lengthy tour of oil producing states, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. While in Tehran, Hiranuma is expected to promise his government's financial support for the Azadegan project. – (MENA Report)
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