Most of the Caspian Sea’s offshore gas reserves are in the southern regions.
Most of the Caspian Sea’s offshore gas reserves are in the southern regions.

Foreign Oil Firms Seek Caspian Exploratory Contracts

Caspian Sea’s complicated geological structures as well as its noticeable depth have turned it into a high-risk venture for oil drilling and exploration

Foreign Oil Firms Seek Caspian Exploratory Contracts

Norwegian, British and Dutch companies have asked for permission to study Iran's oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, a deputy at the National Iranian Oil Company said on Monday.
“Negotiations are underway with several foreign companies to develop the Caspian Sea oil and gas fields,” Gholamreza Manouchehri was quoted as saying by IRNA.
According to Manouchehri, as soon as talks come to fruition, NIOC will decide on the most economically viable proposals and sign a non-disclosure agreement for hydrocarbon studies.
Underscoring the fact that exploration of hydrocarbons on the Iranian side of the Caspian Sea is a top priority, the official said, “In a conference last year, Iran introduced three exploratory blocks in the Caspian region, namely 24, 26 and 29 as well as Sardar-e Jangal, as part of its new oil and gas contracts to attract foreign investment.”
Manouchehri believes that due to the abundance of gas resources in southern Iran, officials have been rather slow in exploiting the northern fields.
Moreover, the Caspian Sea's complex geological structures as well as its noticeable depth have turned it into a high-risk venture for oil drilling and exploration.
Pointing to the depth of explorations in the Sardar-e Jangal gas field, discovered in 2012, he added, "Drilling in this site at a depth of 1,000 meters will not be viable due to the high costs, save for foreign companies’ partnership and private sector involvement."
------- Exploratory Blocks
According to Yousef Etemadi, director of Khazar Exploration and Production Company, based on geochemical studies in the Caspian Sea, 46 structures have been specified, of which eight blocks top the list of NIOC priorities.  
The Caspian Sea region, which includes Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iran, is one of the oldest oil-producing areas in the world and is an increasingly important source of global energy production.
The area has significant oil and natural gas reserves from both offshore deposits in the Caspian Sea itself and onshore fields of the littoral states. Traditionally an oil-producing area, the Caspian Sea’s importance as a natural gas region is growing fast. Offshore fields account for 41% of total Caspian oil and gas condensates (close to 20 billion barrels) and 36% of natural gas (3 trillion cubic meters).
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.
Back in 2012, Iran discovered a new oil layer with in-place reserves of two billion barrels in Sardar-e Jangal oil and gas field off the shore of the northern Iranian province of Gilan in the Caspian Sea, which contains quality crude.

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