Sanctions delay drilling work at Iran's Kish gas field

Tehran, Iran, June 7

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad - Trend:

Drilling in Kish Gas Field, the Persian Gulf’s second largest gas field after South Pars, has made significant progress and is expected to be completed in nearly 7 months, deputy chief of the National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) said.

“Impending (US) sanctions on the country’s oil industry and domestic inability to produce (some equipment) have delayed the project in Kish Gas Field,” Mohammadreza Takaidi told YJC news agency on June 7.

The government is now in talks with Canada and Singapore to buy the equipment, he added.

Takaidi further said that the equipment will be delivered to Iran in the next two months and that it is estimated that drilling at wells at the offshore Kish field will be completed by the end of December or mid-January.

Discovered in 1968, Kish gas field is located 30 kilometers east of Lavan Island off the Persian Gulf. The field holds an estimated 1.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in place and more than 500 million barrels of gas condensate, an ultra-light grade of oil.

In 2017, Iran signed a basic agreement with Shell last December over studying the country's Kish gas field as well as South Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields.

Italian oil major Eni also signed an agreement with the Islamic Republic in June 2017 for feasibility studies to develop the gas field.

The new US sanctions will take six months to kick in, but a number of European companies have already halted their businesses in Iran despite verbal pledges by their governments to protect them against any fallout.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached in 2015 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

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