Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, December 2008
As Recession Begins Officially,Russians Turn to Iran to Develop Oil Fields
MOSCOW, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) --
A senior Russian economic official said Friday that a recession has begun in the country, Russian news agencies reported.
"A recession has started. We will face two quarters (of economic decline)," Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.
"I'm afraid, it won't be over in two quarters," he was quoted by Interfax as saying.
A recession is defined as at least two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.
Klepach also said the economy will grow by less than the projected 6.8 percent this year, and industrial production will rise about 1.9 percent.
Russia's economy recorded a 8.1 percent growth in 2007, fueled by the country's oil and metals sectors.
Russia's oil company interested in developing Iran's oil fields
TEHRAN, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) --
Gazprom Neft, Russia's fifth largest crude oil producer company and the oil arm of gas export monopoly Gazprom, has expressed its interest in developing oil fields in southern Iran, Iran's satellite Press TV reported on Wednesday.
Displaying an interest to win the Iranians' consent on its wholesale participation in developing the fields, Boris Zilbermints, Deputy General Director of Gazprom Neft, was quoted as saying that "we have asked the Iranian government to consider both parts of the South Azadegan field together."
South Azadegan oil field, divided into northern and southern parts, is located 62 kilometers west of Ahvaz in Iran's southern province of Khouzestan.
On Tuesday, Zilbermints told a conference in Moscow that his company was currently in talks on northern Azadegan with its Iranian partners, according to Iran's daily Tehran Times.
He was quoted as saying that his company had already begun drafting a development plan for the oil field in December, looking to complete it within 9 months.
Although the Iranian license holder for the field, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), will enjoy a joint project with Gazprom Neft to develop the fields, the Russian crude oil producer will have to provide 100 percent of investment in the project.
"The Russian oil producer estimates North Azadegan's recoverable reserves at around 150 million tons of oil and maximum annual output at some 5.5 million to 6.5 million tons," Zilbermints said.
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