Seyyed Saleh Hendi, the head of exploration at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), says Iran and Russia are holding talks on oil and gas extraction in the Islamic Republic of Iran and shallow portions of Caspian Sea.

Speaking to Sputnik, he went on saying the National Iranian Oil Company has already signed a number of Memorandum of Understandings with Russian companies.

“Right now, we are waiting for the implementation of new projects. The National Iranian Oil Company has signed cooperation agreements with Lukoil, Rosneft, Zarubezhneft, Tatneft, Gazprom, Gazpromneft and we expect more agreements to be signed for cooperation on 10 oil and gas fields.”

Hendi also said the new cooperation will be established in desert fields as well as offshore fields.

He named some of the fields as Mansouri, Abteymour, Kish, Yaran, Maroun, South Pars Oil Layer, Koupal, Aban, Esfandyar, Western Paydar, Dehloran, North Pars, Azar, Changouleh and Cheshmeh-Khosh.

The representative of NIOC also referred to the cooperation between the company and Russia’s Lukoil and said, “We seek to establish cooperation with Lukoil because we are determined to take advantage of the company’s experience as well as capabilities in oil extraction.”

“Technical negotiations on Abteymour and Mansouri fields have been finalized and we have already offered our proposals for cooperation on these fields to Lukoil. Now we have to make an agreement within a 45-day deadline.”

On the proposals of the Russian companies to NIOC to develop Iran’s oil and gas fields, he said, “Unfortunately, Russian companies remain conservative when it comes to offering proposals and the proposals offered by them are too costly with no economic justifications.”

“Iranian oil minister has sent a report to his Russian counterpart on this issue, saying that they need to revise their mechanisms of offering proposals for cooperation to develop oil and gas fields,” he said.

He also noted that Russian firms can have a greater role in Iran’s energy market by establishing a strategic alliance with the companies from Europe, China and Southeast Asia.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin had noted that Russia sees great capacities for establishing further cooperation with Iran in developing oil and gas fields.