Iran signs $440 million deal with local firm to develop Gulf gas field

A picture shows an oil facility on Iran's Kharg Island. AFP

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SULAIMANI — Iran signed a $440 million contract on Saturday with local company Petropars to develop the Belal gas field in the Gulf, Iranian state television reported, saying the country’s vital energy sector was active despite US sanctions.

“This contract and other upcoming contracts show that we are working under the sanctions. The sanctions have not stopped us and we are active,” Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said at the signing ceremony in remarks carried by state TV, according to Reuters.

Under the deal signed with a subsidiary of the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Petropars is to produce 500 million cubic feet per day of gas, state TV said.

Belal, a field shared with Qatar, straddles the maritime boundary between Iran and Qatar in the Gulf.

US President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers last year and reimposed sanctions in an effort to curb Tehran’s missile and nuclear programmes and the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East, notably its support for armed groups in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)