Iran, Belarus to Extend Cooperation on Oilfield Development

National Iranian Oil Co. signed an accord with Belarusian state-run company Belarusneft to extend energy cooperation as the Persian Gulf nation seeks to boost progress in oil and gas projects.

Belarusneft, which already holds a 50 percent stake in a license to develop Iran's southern Jofeir oilfield, may increase investment in Iranian projects, NIOC Managing Director Seifollah Jashnsaz said, according to the nation's Oil Ministry.

Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov confirmed the deal today. He declined to provide details, telling reporters in Minsk that ``Belarus is interested in oil extraction anywhere in the world.''

NIOC also held talks with Russia's OAO Tatneft on development of the Ahvaz-Bangestan oilfield in the south of Iran, Jashnsaz told the Oil Ministry's official news agency, Shana.

Iran holds the world's second-largest oil and gas reserves, after Saudi Arabia and Russia. Sanctions against the nation have hindered the operations of Western oil companies in the country, which is increasingly turning to Eastern nations for help to complete energy projects.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Tehran at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net

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