Contract Signed for  Oil Exploration in Salt Domes

Contract Signed for Oil Exploration in Salt Domes

The National Iranian Oil Company has signed a contract with a European company to explore oil in the salt domes, the NIOC exploration director said Tuesday, Mehr news agency reported.

No oil or gas exploration activity has been carried out in the Iranian salt domes so far, Hormoz Ghalavand said, pointing out to his company's lack of advanced technology to conduct the necessary seismic survey.

An agreement was reached between the NIOC and the European firm for oil exploration in salt domes, mostly in south and west Iran, with the latter providing the required technology. The name of the company was not immediately available.

In addition to exploration, the negotiations also dealt with transfer of technology by the European company, the official said without providing details.

Because of the potential for petroleum production from structural and stratigraphic traps in the salt dome flanks, exploration geologists often also focus on salt domes.

The largest hydrocarbon reserves in and around the Persian Gulf and the salt domes in the Zagros Mountain range are accumulated in the anticlines. Hydrocarbon deposits in exploitable amounts have yet not been discovered in the region. Nevertheless their indices are present.

Crude occurrence was proved in the boundary of Ilam and Sarvak formations during offshore drilling by the SOFIRAN, according to an article published by the Iranian Journal of Earth Sciences.  Gaseous occurrences are also known from numerous sites, e.g., from Qeshm Island or at Sarkhun north of Bandar Abbas.

Indices of heavy oils or asphalts were registered by previous geological mapping in Kuh-e Gavbast, Kuh-e Shu, Kuh-e Khamir, Kuh-e Anguru, Kuh-e Genow, and Kush Kuh.

Moreover, negotiations were held with 18 international companies to explore for oil and gas in 40 new fields offered by the NIOC, of which 15 will be offered in the form of Iran's new petroleum contract (IPC). Exploration for shale oil in Lorestan Province in west Iran has also been initiated by the NIOC.

This is while direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Iran of the equipment and technology for the oil and gas industry is prohibited under the US-led sanctions imposed on Iran's energy sector due to the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

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