Iran prepares for offshore exploration surge

Offshore staff

TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian Offshore Oil Co. (IOOC) wants to drill 17 exploration wells in the Persian Gulf.

Exploration manager Mansour Ghaibihayat told an Iranian news service these would be directed at both producing oil and gas fields and at fields where development had not yet begun.

One purpose is to determine the status of fields that Iran shares with neighboring states, he added.

IOOC has signed a heads of agreement with Petro Iran Co. on drilling 12 of the wells. A private contractor will drill the other five. The program will continue for three to four years.

Rostam Qasemi, Iran’s Petroleum Minister, has called for improvements in the country’s offshore rigs and drilling technologies to quicken the pace of drilling and lower costs.

Currently, a typical Iranian onshore well takes 100 days or more to drill. Offshore wells are even slower, but average offshore drilling times should come down to 45-60 days, in line with world norms, he said.

“If we succeed to exploit a well one month earlier, not only have we been able to boost efficiency, but we have succeeded to bring down production cost.” Typical day rates for Iran’s offshore rigs are currently $150-160,000, he added.


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