Iraq to Benefit From Iranian Drilling Expertise

Iraq to Benefit From Iranian Drilling ExpertiseIraq to Benefit From Iranian Drilling Expertise

An Iraqi delegation has visited Iran with the aim of expanding cooperation in the field of oil and gas drilling, Mehr news agency reported Friday.

Director General of the Iraqi Drilling Company (IDC), Driss Mohsen al-Yasiri, held meetings with Hedayatollah Khademi, managing director of Iran's North Drilling Company (NDC), to increase the two countries drilling cooperation.

The NDC has been operating in foreign countries for the past decade, Khademi said, adding that Iran is ready to participate in Iraqi drilling projects, and could export technical and engineering services to the western neighbor.

Despite western sanctions imposed on the Iran's energy sector, the country's drilling industry has considerably developed over the past years, Khademi said, adding: "Iran has set global records in drilling of sour gas wells in the South Pars field."

Iran has an experienced workforce in the field of oil and gas drilling, al-Yasiri said. "In view of the NDC's advanced workforce and technology, it is expected that IDC and NDC will jointly cooperate in directional horizontal drilling," said the Iraqi official, also making reference to the "complete chain of drilling services" provided by the NDC.

The NDC can collaborate with Iraqi private firms that are operating along with the Iraqi oil ministry in drilling projects, since the IDC is a state-owned company with limited operational authority, al-Yasiri added. Unlike state companies, cooperation of Iraqi firms with foreign private firms does not need approval of the Iraqi parliament, he added.

"IDC is ready to provide all necessary grounds for participation of Iranian companies in Iraqi drilling projects," al-Yasiri said.

NDC was established in March 1999 and started its operational activities as a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company in early 2003. It launched its first international project in Turkmenistan in May 2005. Over the past years, the NDC has become one of the largest drilling companies in Southwest Asia.

Listed by the European Union in April 2014 as an entity linked to Iran’s nuclear program, European Union member states were mandated to freeze all funds and economic resources owned, held, or controlled by the NDC, and had to ensure that funds or economic resources were not made available to or for the benefit of the listed entity.

Iran and six world powers (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) are trying to meet a self-imposed deadline of the end of June to resolve the nuclear standoff over Iran's nuclear work, which the West fears is aimed at developing a weapons capability - a charge Iran denies, saying it is for peaceful, civilian purposes.

Iran and Iraq had reached an agreement on drilling cooperation earlier in October 2013, whereby the National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) undertook training for Iraqi companies using electronic systems as well as fluid mechanics engineering. Iran and its western neighbor share eight joint oilfields, including Azadegan (Majnoon), Azer (Badra), Yadavaran (Sinbad), Naft Shahr (Naftk hana), Dehloran (Abu Ghurab) and West Paydar (Fakka), Arvand (South Abu Ghurab), and Yaran.