Sanctions-hit Iran has signed contracts worth $13 billion with domestic companies to 350,000 barrels of oil to the country’s daily production.

In a ceremony broadcast on state TV, the oil ministry and Iranian businesses signed the deals on Sunday relating to six oil fields, Shana, Iran's official news agency for the oil industry, said on its website.

At the signing, Iran's Oil Minister Javad Owji said the country has not waited for foreign investors and contractors. “Although the country’s oil industry experienced a year full of ups and downs, there was no interruption to exports,” he added.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) awarded $245 million contract to Well Services of Iran (WSI) and Well Services Development of Petro Iranian Arvand (PIA) to develop  Soumar, Saman, and Delavaran oil fields. The wells are expected to produce 404 million barrels of crude over 20 years.

NIOC also signed a contract worth $260 million with Sina Energy Development Company (SEDCO) to begin the second phase of Masjed Soleyman oil field’s development. The 14-year contract is for the development and exploitation of the northern wing of Masjed Soleyman oil field that aims to produce 21 million barrels. 

Masjed Soleyman is the oldest oil field of Iran and the Middle East, and is located in southwestern province of Khuzestan. It's oil in place (OIP) is estimated at 6.2 billion barrels, with its northern wing containing around 1.2 billion barrels of OIP, Shana said.

NIOC and Sarvak Azar Engineering and Development Company signed a contract for the second-stage development of Azar oil field which will have direct investments of $1.04 billion. The 20-year contract aims to add 177 million barrels of crude oil.

Iran's oil sector is under Western sanctions which had cramped its production and exports. The IEA current estimate places Iran's crude production capacity at approximately 3.8 million barrels per day.

Earlier in March Iran signed deals worth $20 billion with domestic firms to increase up production from the offshore South Pars gas field in the Gulf, which it shares with Qatar.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz)