TEHRAN (Reuters) - Russian oil producer Rosneft and the National Iranian Oil Company have agreed an outline deal to work together on a number of “strategic” projects in Iran together worth up to $30 billion, Rosneft’s head Igor Sechin said on Wednesday.
The potential collaboration with Iran would further strengthen Rosneft’s position in the Middle East, the company having already secured a number of deals in the region, including the acquisition of a majority stake in Iraqi Kurdistan’s main oil pipeline.
The recent deals appeared to be part of a strategy by President Vladimir Putin to boost Moscow’s political and economic influence in the region, which was weakened by the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The outline agreement on working with Iran was signed during Putin’s visit to the country on Wednesday.
Sechin said the preliminary deal paved the way for legally-binding documents to be signed within a year. Output from the joint project is seen plateauing at 55 million tonnes per year (1.1 million barrels per day), he said.
“We are talking about several oil and gas fields, which we will develop with our partners,” Sechin told reporters, adding that Rosneft has invited Iran to develop offshore and other projects in Russia.
It is not yet clear how the investments will be split between the two companies.
Russia and cash-strapped Iran have long been working on oil-for-goods deals worth up to $20 billion.
Sechin said the preliminary agreement envisaged some swap deals, as well as oil and oil products deliveries.
Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Greg Mahlich