Iran to Vie for Foreign Drilling Projects

Iran to Vie for Foreign Drilling ProjectsIran to Vie for Foreign Drilling Projects

Iran’s drilling industry, which was restrained by western sanctions, intends to return to the international arena by undertaking projects in the Middle East and the Central Asia.

“We are mulling over a wide range of projects and we will participate in some tenders, but our top priority is to be present in the Central Asia and the Persian Gulf,” Mohammad Reza Takaidi, acting director of National Iranian Drilling Company, told IRNA.

Takaidi announced that the company has taken measures to implement Kazakhstan’s drilling projects and it is currently waiting for the country to release an oil tender.

Prior to the imposition of sanctions, Iran played an active role in foreign oil and gas drilling projects even in Europe.

Heidar Bahmani, managing director of NIDC, told Shana earlier that the company is implementing projects in Turkmenistan and Libya, and also plans to become active in the North Sea.

Iran and the UK have been cooperating in Rhum Gas Field in the North Sea since December 2005, when the field started pumping, until the imposition of the US-engineered sanctions. 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 British Petroleum and Iran.

Takaidi has also announced that the company will take part in drilling tenders in Oman and Iraq.

NIDC is negotiating drilling projects in Turkey, potentially on the basis of turnkey contracts, under which it will complete a project and hand it over in fully operational form to the client.

The company has signed memoranda of understanding with Italian oil and gas majors Eni and Saipem to jointly implement drilling projects overseas in the post-sanctions period.

  New Exploration Plans

A senior official at the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry said that under an exploratory study namely Morvarid, Iran’s untapped oil and gas potential in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea, covering about 183,000 square kilometers, will be identified.

“The macro plan has progressed by 86% and we hope it will be completed in a month,” Mohammad Reza Kamali was quoted as saying by ILNA.

Underscoring that the institute has received help from the oil industry and the Petroleum University of Technology to conduct the study, Kamali said, "We even made contacts with European universities for utilizing state-of-the-art technology.”

The official said results of the study will not only indicate the number and volume of untapped oil and gas traps, but would also provide a risk analysis of the potential projects.

“To determine the risk level of discovered blocks is very important, as drilling operations inflict high costs [on the contractors],” he added.

Kamali also referred to other upstream plans undertaken by the institute and said it is currently conducting studies on Ahvaz Oilfield, with the next oilfield to be studied in the near future being Yadavaran.