Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 11/ Trend, F. Karimov/
Iran's North Drilling Company has called on all domestic manufacturers to participate in a project for building drilling rigs, the Tasnim News Agency reported.
NDC managing director Hedayatollah Khademi told Tasnim that the manufacturers have been invited to send their qualifications to the company by October 7.
The company has formed a special committee to adopt policies to expedite the implementation of development projects at joint oil and gas field. The committee is tasked with assessing abilities of the Iranian manufacturers, he noted.
Meanwhile, on September 7, Khademi said that Iran is not able to build drilling rigs.
He added said that the decreasing number of drilling rigs at joint oil and gas fields is one of the main reasons for a delay in completing their development projects.
He further said that there is no factory in operation in the country for manufacturing drilling rigs. In such a situation, importing drilling rigs from China can be a solution to help progress the development projects, he added.
In July, Khademi said that the NDC has finalized a deal with China to buy 14 onshore and offshore drilling rigs.
But, the Iranian parliament said buying the rigs from China will bankrupt domestic manufacturers.
In recent years, some 20 drilling rigs have been imported from China. Former Iranian deputy oil minister Akbar Torkan says Iranian manufacturers are able to build 70 percent of drilling rigs.
Ex-Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi had warned contractors to avoid importing equipment that is currently being produced domestically.
All contractors who ignore the warning will be omitted from the list of oil ministry's contractors, Qasemi said.
Even if the prices of Iranian-made equipment are slightly higher, the contractors should purchase the Iranian goods, he underscored.
Nearly two years ago on July 19, 2011, Iran's oil ministry website quoted deputy oil minister Hamdollah Mohammadnejad as saying that the country reached self-sufficiency in building onshore drilling rigs.
At that time, Mohammadnejad said that five domestic companies were manufacturing onshore drilling rigs through reverse engineering and indigenizing the required technology.
He also said that three domestically-made drilling rigs have been tested successfully and have been delivered to the oil ministry. In addition, a contract for building five other drilling rigs has been signed with domestic companies.
The Iranian Mehr News Agency reported on September 30, 2012 that the National Iranian Oil Company announced it had begun drilling a second exploratory oil well in the Caspian Sea's deep waters, while a week after this information, head of the Iran's North Drilling Company told Shana that the submersible Amir Kabir rig was moved to another place to drill a second exploratory well in the Sardar-e Jangal gas field in a month.
Sardar-e Jangal field's first well reportedly was drilled 700 metres in depth through benthos in 1000-metre deep waters. Iranians said the discovered field is a gas field, then on May 10, 2012, the Iranian Petroleum Ministry announced that the above mentioned field holds eight billion barrels oil reserves as well. After that, Iranian officials have given different numbers about the total reserves such as two billion barrels of crude oil.