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VIENNA, May 4 (Reuters) - Austria’s OMV signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on Wednesday as it looks to revive its activities in Iran.
OMV Chief Executive Rainer Seele, who took the helm at Austria’s biggest company last July, has singled out Iran, Russia and the United Arab Emirates in a push away from expensive North Sea field exploration.
Wednesday’s deal signed in Tehran covers several areas from oil and gas field evaluation to crude oil and petroleum product swaps.
Most sanctions on Iran were lifted in January after Tehran reached a deal with world powers under which it agreed to shrink its nuclear programme.
OMV’s envisaged projects are located in the Zagros area in western Iran, including the Cheshmeh Khosh and Band-E-Karkheh fields where OMV had started operations in 2001, and the Fars field in the south, OMV said.
“This Memorandum of Understanding is an important first step in resuming OMV’s activities in Iran and in the long-term cooperation with the NIOC,” Seele, who is also pushing for closer ties with Russia’s Gazprom, said in a statement.
“We look forward to evaluating the opportunities of OMV in Iran and the cooperation with NIOC to evaluate whether there are areas of potential cooperation in the exploration and development of oil and gas,” Seele said.
Last November, Seele said OMV was not interested in gas projects in Iran, citing high costs. (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Kirsti Knolle and Jason Neely)