Gazprom Neft signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Iran’s Oil Industries Engineering and Construction Company (OIEC) on July 27th to assess the Changuleh and Azar Oilfields, reports Financial Tribune.

The two companies will collaborate within the framework of Iran’s new regulatory framework, according to Press TV.

They have agreed to conduct consultations with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) about the assessment, exploration, and investment development of the fields.

In April, Gazprom Neft, a Russian firm, offered a preliminary development plan for the Changuleh and Azar Fields. The firm is expected to make a final proposal after the execution of more comprehensive studies.

Changuleh Oil Field is estimated to hold more than 4 billion barrels of heavy crude. Iran aims produce 15,000 b/d initially and to increase its output to 65,000 b/d within five years.

The first phase of production from Azar Oilfield started in March 2017 after a long delay. Its current capacity is 15,000 b/d according to OIEC’s Managing Director, Behzad Mohammadi. The field contains 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil and is expected to generate up to 65,000 b/d once the second phase of its development is completed in 2018.

Russia’s oil company, Lukoil; Norway’s renewable energy company, Norsk Hydro ASA;, Malaysia’s oil company, Petronas; and Gazprom Neft were among the companies developing the oilfield in 2003 prior to the imposition of international sanctions on Iran, Mohammadi noted.

The Changuleh and Azar Oilfields are in Mehran, Iran, alongside the Iraqi border.