Japan may rejoin major Iran oil project- official

Inpex withdrew from field five years ago due to sanctions

Iran has about 150bn barrels of oil reserves, according to the government.
Iran has about 150bn barrels of oil reserves, according to the government.

Japan could re-enter an oilfield development project in Iran, from which it withdrew nearly five years ago, Japan Times reports.

The paper quoted a senior Iranian Oil Ministry official as saying that it may be possible for Japan to return to the Azadegan project in southwestern Iran.

The move signals Tehran's eagerness to make use of Japanese companies’ technical capabilities. It comes after a historic deal between Iran and six world powers was reached to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the gradual lifting of economic sanctions.

When Japan withdrew in 2010, then-Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi showed a certain degree of understanding that Japan’s action resulted from the United States’ position, but noted that Tokyo may not be able to take part in such projects in the future, the paper reported.

However, the final decision on whether to accept Japan rests with current Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, the official said, adding that he favours Japan’s participation in Iran’s oil projects.

Japan's Inpex had a stake in the project to develop the Azadegan field, but pulled out after the imposing of sanctions on Iran.

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