Japan’s largest exploration firm Inpex is eying up a return to Iran’s upstream some five years after pulling out of the country, the company’s Deputy Managing Director Yoshikazu Kurasawa said on 9 August while on a visit to Tehran.

Inpex had been active in Iran for almost a decade as part of a Japanese consortium developing the massive 42bn barrel South Azadegan field close to Iran’s border with Iraq, but was forced to exit both the project and country, following Tokyo’s 2010 decision to follow Washington’s lead, and enforce tougher sanctions on companies doing business with Iran. (CONTINUED - 1013 WORDS)