Ukrainian Inter Naft Gas Prom Pars Company was awarded a one-billion-dollar contract to develop three heavy crude oilfields in Iran. Iran\'s Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDC) and Ukraine\'s Inter Naft Gas Prom Pars will sign the contract by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20). Under the comprehensive development plan of the three oil fields, Koohmond, Boushkan and Kouhkali, 10,000 to 12,000 barrels of oil are expected to be produced per day in the first phase, and about 25,000 barrels per day in the second phase, MNA reported. On Dec. 18, Iran signed an oil contract worth one billion US dollars with the Russian Tatarstan republic\'s Tatneft Oil Company on development of Zagheh oil field in southern Iran. In October, Iran said it had replaced Russia\'s Gazprom by a consortium of Iranian companies in the onshore oil field of Azar after the Russian company failed to fulfill its obligations to finalize the project. Iran, a member of OPEC, is the world\'s fourth largest oil producer with an output of about 4 million barrels per day. The country\'s recoverable oil reserves are estimated at over 137 billion barrels, or 12 percent of the world\'s total. Iran, which sits on the world\'s second largest reserves of both oil and gas, is facing US sanctions over its civilian nuclear program. Iranian officials have dismissed US sanctions as inefficient, saying that they are finding Asian partners instead. A large number of Chinese, Indian and other Asian firms have negotiated or signed up to oil and gas deals with Iran. Following US pressures on companies to stop business with Tehran, many western companies decided to do a balancing act. They tried to maintain their presence in Iran, which is rich in oil and gas, but not getting into big deals that could endanger their interests in the US. Yet, after oil giants in the West witnessed that their absence in big deals has provided Chinese, Indian and Russian companies with excellent opportunities to sign up to an increasing number of energy projects and earn billions of dollars, they started showing increasing interest to invest or expand work in Iran.