Iran ready for new drillings at Caspian Sea; no plan on production

Tehran, Iran, July 1

By Temkin Jafarov, Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

CEO of the Iranian North Drilling Co. says the company is preparing for new drilling operations in the Caspian Sea.

Iran has so far carried out exploration drilling in the Caspian Sea using the Iran Amir Kabir semi submersible drilling unit (SSDU). Toward the end of 2011 it was announced that Iran had found a huge gas field. But a few months later, Iran announced that the Sardar-e Jangal field contains both oil and gas.

North Drilling Company performed the drilling.

Right now there are a series of repairs to be done on the Iran Amir Kabir platform and the company will move to the next well in the Caspian Sea in the near future upon order by the Client (the National Iranian Oil Company), Hedayatollah Khademi, CEO of the North Drilling Co. told Trend July 1.

Construction of the Amir Kabir platform was started 13 years ago under the licence of the GVA (Swedish Company) and then completed by Iran's Sadra Company. In addition, a drilling operation control system at this platform technically belongs to the Norwegian Maritime Hydraulic Company. Knowledge was needed to operate with this platform, therefore individuals were sent to Norway to learn about deep water drilling and then the same team was sent one more time to Scotland to learn more things, Khademi said.

Khademi says that GVA refrained from building the Amri Kabir SSDU due to sanctions. The Iranian company Sadra took the job where GVA had left. He says five wells were drilled by this platform, which weights 18 thousand metric tons. Two of the wells reached the oil and gas reservoir.

"We drilled some exploration wells in the Caspian Sea, some of them failed, where, we reached places where a fountain would burst and could not be handled, so we would have to go some place else. Anyways, we drilled a number of failed wells, but two came successful and in the end we managed to find oil and gas" the officials added.

Production from the Caspian

Asked about oil production at the Caspian, Khademi said his company is tasked only with drilling.

"We drilled exploration wells in the Caspian Sea for the National Iranian Oil Company and we don't know if or when they would use them or whether doing so is economical. It depends on financial resources," he stated.

"What we do is exploration. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Russia have found oil and gas in their shallow waters, but Iran did not find anything in its shallow waters. We had to go to deep waters but the maintenance and operation costs are huge."

Edited by CN

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