Iran Oil Ministry signs biggest drilling deal with domestic company
Iran's Oil Ministry has signed the biggest contract for drilling wells in the country's joint oil and gas fields in the Persian Gulf with a domestic company.
The contract valued at about 500 million euros was signed between the National Iranian Offshore Oil Company (NIOOC), a subsidiary of the Oil Ministry, and Petroiran Development Company during an official ceremony on Sunday.
Managing director of NIOOC, Mahmoud Zirakchian-Zadeh, said the contract includes drilling 12 exploration wells in the Persian Gulf within the next 36 months.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Petroiran Development Company Saeed Hafezi Birgani announced that the company will start oil production from the oil layer of the shared South Pars gas field in the next spring.
The development of South Pars oil layer known as A2 was commissioned to Petroiran Development Company in March 2005 and so far roughly USD500 million has been invested in this project.
The crude oil produced from A2 is estimated to reach 25,000 barrels per day (bpd). The layer has approximately 7.5 billion barrels of in-place oil, 10 percent of which is recoverable.
South Pars covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are within Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, i.e. the North Dome, are in Qatar's territorial waters.
Iran shares oil and gas fields with most of its neighbors in the Persian Gulf region. In July 2011, Iranian energy officials said that as much as 35 percent of the country's energy development budget would go toward the development of joint oil fields.