Iran, Belarus to develop Iranian oil field

from Staff Reports

Iran and the Eastern Europe's Belarus agreed Wednesday to a $450 million deal to develop an Iranian oil field near the Iraqi border, Iran's oil ministry said.

The Jofeireh oil field, 50 miles southwest of Ahvaz, will add 40,000 barrels daily to Iran's oil production, said Aleksander Liakhov, chief executive officer of Belarus state-owned oil and gas exploration and production company Belorusneft.

The deal will be financed by Vietnam's state-owned Vietnam Oil and Gas Corp., Russian news agency Interfax reported.

The project is part of Iran's policy "to increase exploitation of Iran's national oil resources," the official Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency said.

Ahvaz is located in the oil-rich Khuzestan province and was the site of heavy fighting during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. It was also the site of nine months of bombings in 2005-2006 that Iran blamed on foreign governments.

Iran and Belarus are largely isolated from developed economies, Iran because of its nuclear power program and Belarus because of its government, which many countries consider authoritarian.