NIDC to Undertake North Sea Projects

NIDC to Undertake North Sea ProjectsNIDC to Undertake North Sea Projects

The National Iranian Drilling Company will start operation in the North Sea in the near future, the company's managing director said.

"The NIDC is currently implementing projects in Turkmenistan and Libya, and also plans to become active in the North Sea," Heidar Bahmani told Shana on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Third Specialized Exhibition of Domestic Oil Equipment Manufacturers in Khuzestan Province.

Iran and the UK have been cooperating in Rhum gas field in North Sea since December 2005, when the field started pumping, until the imposition of the US-engineered sanctions against Iran. It led to a stoppage of gas production from the field in 2010.

Rhum gas field, which cost $565 million to develop, is shared equally by BP and the Iranian Oil Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company.

Earlier in September, a senior official in Iran's Oil Ministry said Britain is ready to pay Iran's blocked revenues from gas sales at the field after the lifting of sanctions. However, he did not mention the amount or how the UK government plans to pay this debt.

According to NIDC's deputy CEO Mohammad Reza Takaidi, the company takes part in oil and drilling tenders in Oman, Iraq and some of the Central Asian countries.

The company has also reached an agreement with the Italian giant Eni on raising bilateral cooperation in the post-sanctions period.

Referring to the company's decision to delegate more projects to the private sector, Bahmani said at present 40% of NIDC's projects are undertaken by private companies and the policy is to increase the percentage.

"The NIDC spends over $22 million annually on localization and purchase of equipments and machinery parts," he said, adding that the drilling company collaborates with 10 scientific and research institutes.

The company employs 120,000 drilling machinery, of which 20,000 are manufactured locally.