Thursday, September 08, 2005

Oil Company Suspends Extraction Project in Iran Over Lack of Stability

Russian oil company Tatneft has been forced to suspend an oil extraction project carried out under the framework of a joint project set up with Iran’s Mostazafan and Janbazan Foundation due to the unstable political situation in the country, Rais Khisamov, chief engineer and deputy managing director of Tatneft told Interfax.

Khisamov said that the joint venture has been set up but is not currently operating. The two sides signed an agreement in February 2005. The joint venture was set up on parity basis with the purpose of prospecting and producing oil in Iran.

The Tatneft official said that the joint venture has no contracts, because following the election of the new Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad, the restructuring of state institutions is in progress and the Iranian oil minister has not been appointed yet. READ MORE

Khisamov also said that Tatneft does not plan to resume work in Iraq due to a lack of safety guarantees for personnel. “I cannot send anybody to work there. Who will guarantee the safety of the people who will work there? We hardly had time to evacuate them before the war started,” he said and added that the company has received invitations to work in Iraq.

Tatneft suspended service operations for Iraq’s Northern Oil Company and its drilling team of 26 left the country at the start of the war in March 2003. The company had operated in Iraq under a Zarubezhneft contract approved by the UN Security Council in 2000. The contract envisaged the drilling 45 oil wells for Northern Oil Company.