Spanish firms negotiating Iranian oil exploration contracts

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 6 -- Spanish oil firms Repsol-YPF SA and Cepsa are negotiating contracts with Iran covering oil exploration and development, and Repsol also is discussing LNG contracts, said Iranian Economy Minister Tahmasb Mazaheri.

Speaking in Brussels to OPECNA, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' news service, Mazaheri said negotiations were close to completion "and we hope to be able to sign very soon."

The talks with Repsol focus on LNG projects and oil exploration. No details were available on the discussions between Iran and Cepsa, but a company spokesman said discussions involved the company's participation in an oil field development.

Repsol is considering a $1 billion investment, while Cepsa is targeting spending of $350 million.

The negotiations follow Mazaheri's and Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's visit to Spain last week. Khatami appealed to Spanish companies to step up their operations in Iran to take advantage of a climate that he said was receptive to international cooperation.

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