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  Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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Iran intends to start developing oil fields in its sector of the Caspian Sea soon
Iran intends to start developing oil fields in its sector of the Caspian Sea soon, said Mahmoud Mohdas, the head of the National Iranian Oil Company's drilling operations department. "Foreign and Iranian companies' bids for participation in developing and prospecting oil fields in Iran's sector in the Caspian are being studied at the moment. Development activities will be launched in the next few months," Mr. Mohdas told reporters on Tuesday. "Fearing an embargo from the U.S. administration, American companies will not be engaged in the activities," he added. "The drilling companies that will win the bid will start working at Mehr and Anaran fields," said Mr. Mohdas. "$200 million will be allocated from the budget for research and prospecting in the Caspian every year," he added. Hamid Reza Assefi, the official spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, said in late January that Iran was opposed to any activities whatsoever in its sector of the Caspian until the sea's legal status had been determined. However, Iranian experts argue that defining the Caspian's status becomes an increasingly ambiguous enterprise despite the intense activities by a special group on the Caspian involving Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Therefore, Iran decided to start developing its section following the suit of four other Caspian states.
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