Mohsen Khojastehmehr, the deputy oil minister of Iran and CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said the oilfields that Iran and Saudi Arabia share had been fully mapped and explored. He added that the Forouzan oilfield, shared by the two countries, is being developed by two contractors, namely Petro Pars Company and Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company adding that "there will be some good news shortly about joint oil production from Forouzan oilfield. " Khojasteh Mehr said the restoration of diplomatic relations had allowed the two countries to cooperate on oil and gas projects.
The Forouzan Oil Field is situated in the Persian Gulf region, approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Khark Island, and is adjacent to Saudi Arabia's Marjan Oil Field. Discovered in 1966, the field is estimated to hold recoverable reserves of around 2.3 billion barrels. Despite most of its hydrocarbon reserves being within Saudi Arabian territorial waters, Iran has implemented accelerated programs to boost production from the Forouzan field, producing approximately 40,000 barrels per day.
Shahram Motevasel, director of the field development project at the Iranian Offshore Oil Company, said last year that “Due to the priority given to developing border and joint fields, the project to increase output from the Forouzan offshore oilfield has gained speed and the first well started production on April 20, 2022.
Khojastehmehr said that Iran is fully prepared to begin the drilling project at the Arash oilfield, which is also shared with Saudi Arabia. The Arash oilfield is located in the Persian Gulf, near the Forouzan oilfield. The Arash oilfield is also shared by Iran and Saudi Arabia and is estimated to contain up to 1 billion barrels of oil.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a press conference, "Saudi Arabia and Iran's relations have returned, and we are in the stage of resuming them based on the will of the leaders of the two countries," pointing out that "there is an agreement between the two sides to continue cooperation in various fields, especially economic and investment, and not to be limited to the political level."
Nasser Kanaani, the spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, stated that relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran had been restored, and the two countries are currently resuming their ties based on the mutual desire of their leaders. He emphasized that there is an agreement between both sides to foster cooperation across diverse areas, particularly in the realms of economy and investment, and not solely confined to the political sphere.
Iran is also trying to leverage the renewal of relations with Saudi Arabia to improve its relations with the other Gulf countries, emphasizing those that sign the Abraham Accords with Israel (the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain). Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, embarked (Mid-June) on a four-country tour to Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he promoted the idea of a regional dialogue and cooperation forum. During his visits, he discussed the proposal made by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to convene a forum in New York in September, which would include Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
Iran believes that improving its relations with Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf States can slow down or even halt the normalization process with Israel. Iran sees the Abraham Accords as a threat to its national security and influence and is determined to prevent regional states from following suit.