KEPCO, NIDC Finalize Exploration Contract

KEPCO, NIDC Finalize Exploration Contract KEPCO, NIDC Finalize Exploration Contract

Khazar Exploration and Production Company and the National Iranian Drilling Company concluded an exploration drilling contract, managing director of KEPCO said on Tuesday.

"NIDC will start its exploratory drilling activities in Soufikom region in Aqqala County in Golestan Province in the near future," Ali Osouli was quoted as saying by Shana.

According to Osouli, the construction of access road to the exploration site has been completed and once equipment and machinery are transferred to the region, the exploratory drilling operations will begin.

Stressing the immediate commencement of the exploration, the official said, "Equipment and machinery were procured to equip the site and $780 million will be allocated to construct storage facilities. NIDC has been provided with the necessary funds and it is expected to start activities as soon as possible. Surprisingly, the weather condition seems to be ideal for such an exploration."

Heydar Bahmani, managing director of NIDC, said the drilling rig to be dispatched to Soufikom is ready and it will be installed in the region by November 22. "We will do our best to get optimum results while exploring for hydrocarbon reserves," he said.

If exploratory activities in Golestan Province, located south of the Caspian Sea, produce the desired results in terms of identifying commercially viable hydrocarbon reserves, the National Iranian Oil Company will save on energy transportation costs.

Preliminary surveys indicate that the region can turn into an oil- and gas-rich region, attracting major domestic and foreign investments to help develop the region's economy.

According to the official, oil and gas exploration commenced on July 1 near the border with Turkmenistan, with exploratory drilling starting on September 23 for determining the physical properties and boundaries of reservoirs.

Traditionally an oil-producing area, the Caspian Sea’s importance as a natural gas producer is growing fast. Offshore fields account for 41% of total Caspian oil and gas condensates (19.6 billion barrels) and 36% of natural gas (106 trillion cubic feet). In general, most of the offshore oil reserves are in the northern parts of the sea, while most of the offshore gas reserves are in the southern regions.

Exploration drilling is an important step before development drilling. It is essential for obtaining actual temperature measurements, rock samples and retrieving fluid samples for chemical analysis.

 Exploratory drilling can define reservoir boundaries, estimate production potentials, characterize subsurface geology and provide essential fluid geochemical data.