Iran has signed a $1.76 billion deal with China to develop the North Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran near the Iraq border, the country's official news agency reported.

The deal was signed Wednesday between the National Iranian Oil Company and the China National Petroleum Corp., according to a report by the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iran's Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said the field has an estimated 6 billion barrels of crude oil and will produce 75,000 barrels of oil per day for 25 years.

In December 2007, China's biggest refiner, Sinopec, signed a $2 billion agreement with Iran to develop another Iranian oil field, the Yadavaran.

The deals illustrate China's strong business ties with Iran despite U.S. pressure over the Iranian nuclear program.